History Main / CommonMarySueTraits

1st Apr '17 11:02:01 AM ImperialMajestyXO
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* A foreign name, particularly a [[GratuitousJapanese Japanese]] name. The author will often [[ForeignCultureFetish really like the language]] and point out [[YouAreTheTranslatedForeignWord what the name means]] ("I'm Sakura Hinode! That's Japanese for '[[CherryBlossomGirl cherry blossom]] sunrise'!") -- and [[YouKeepUsingThatWord not always correctly]]. If it's combined with an unusual Western name (''e.g.'' Hikari Rose Nightshade, Sapphire Morimoto), that's almost a dead giveaway that the character is a Mary Sue.

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* A foreign name, particularly a [[GratuitousJapanese Japanese]] name. The author will often [[ForeignCultureFetish really like the language]] and point out [[YouAreTheTranslatedForeignWord what the name means]] ("I'm Sakura Hinode! That's Japanese for '[[CherryBlossomGirl cherry blossom]] sunrise'!") -- and [[YouKeepUsingThatWord not always correctly]]. If it's [[MultiEthnicName combined with an unusual Western name name]] (''e.g.'' Hikari Rose Nightshade, Sapphire Morimoto), that's almost a dead giveaway that the character is a Mary Sue.
17th Mar '17 5:45:17 PM Ferot_Dreadnaught
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** The author wants to write a {{Badass}} but doesn't know how. This leads to a character who mistreats everyone around her and is never [[WhatTheHellHero called out]] on her abrasive, casually abusive behavior. And other badass characters, no matter how tough or violent, provide her with an opportunity to "put them in their place" -- or rather, they instantly capitulate and turn into meek {{Wangst}} factories around her.

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** The author wants to write a {{Badass}} badass but doesn't know how. This leads to a character who mistreats everyone around her and is never [[WhatTheHellHero called out]] on her abrasive, casually abusive behavior. And other badass characters, no matter how tough or violent, provide her with an opportunity to "put them in their place" -- or rather, they instantly capitulate and turn into meek {{Wangst}} factories around her.
17th Mar '17 4:18:02 PM GoldenSeals
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With the way the term "Mary Sue" has mutated over time, a great many people just end up labeling any character overdosed with these traits as a Mary Sue regardless of her importance within the story (or because they just don't like the character). [[TropesAreTools That's not necessarily true]]. '''Even if a character has quite a number of the traits described below, Mary-Sueness can still be averted by a good enough explanation for why they're there'''. Some female characters may seem over-powered and a bit "too good to be true" on paper, but when placed in ''context'' they can be well-developed, three-dimensional characters. It's [[{{Flanderization}} when a trait exists more to make somebody stand out]] than to develop them as a character that it starts going into Mary Sue territory (unless it's PlayedForLaughs). Alternatively, you may feel as if the writer is frantically trying to justify a trait to themselves and the reader.

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With the way the term "Mary Sue" has mutated over time, a great many people just end up labeling any character overdosed with these traits as a Mary Sue regardless of her importance within the story (or because they just don't like the character). [[TropesAreTools That's not necessarily true]]. '''Even if a character has quite a number of the traits described below, Mary-Sueness can still be averted by a good enough explanation for why they're there'''. there.''' Some female characters may seem over-powered and a bit "too good to be true" on paper, but when placed in ''context'' context they can be well-developed, three-dimensional characters. It's [[{{Flanderization}} when a trait exists more to make somebody stand out]] than to develop them as a character that it starts going into Mary Sue territory (unless it's PlayedForLaughs). Alternatively, you may feel as if the writer is frantically trying to justify a trait to themselves and the reader.



This article will concern itself with gender neutral and female traits. For (the few) male-exclusive variants, see MartyStu. For a litmus test that draws on much of the same source material, see [[http://www.springhole.net/writing/marysue.htm here]].

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This article will concern itself with gender neutral gender-neutral and female traits. For (the few) male-exclusive variants, see MartyStu. For a litmus test that draws on much of the same source material, see [[http://www.springhole.net/writing/marysue.htm here]].



* ''What'' personality? In these cases, it's fairly blatant that the author is just writing the character for amazing stuff to happen ''to'' instead of a character that actually exists as a person. Obviously, this is only a MarySue trait if what happens gives the character [[TouchedByVorlons special powers]], fantastic romances, or somehow lets her be a [[BigDamnHeroes big damned heroine]]; otherwise it's just another faceless first-person perspective.
** The personality of a MarySue -- if she has one -- is not nearly as important as how other characters react to it. No matter how shy or socially awkward MarySue is ''supposed'' to be, other characters will be drawn to her and inexplicably prefer her company over that of anyone else. All of her ideas are brilliant, all of her jokes are funny, all of her advice is an amazing breakthrough. People will trust her immediately, or very quickly, and feel more comfortable talking to her than to anyone else (even their own family or their significant other), even if she hasn't done or said anything to make them feel that way about her.
** If another character ''doesn't'' feel this way about MarySue, it's usually to portray them as either bad or just an idiot.
** MarySue doesn't have to actually ''do'' anything to be considered a good person--she just ''is'' good. By extension, anything she does is good, and even when she does nothing she brings more good into the world simply by existing than any other character ever could. Goodness just seems to seep out of her body like radiation.
* [[EasyEvangelism Highly persuasive]], regardless of the actual content of the conversations. Everyone finds her opinions are just better than their own -- [[CharacterDerailment even when they're usually stubborn bastards]]. This is especially likely in an AuthorTract.
* FriendToAllLivingThings. It's becoming gradually less common as authors catch on to the MarySueClassic framework.
** She [[AllLovingHero loves everyone and forgives them all for their imperfections]]. [[MartyrWithoutACause Plus she is willing to save, protect or risk all]] [[TheDulcineaEffect for the sake of someone she has met just seconds ago]].
* Is either [[GenkiGirl brave and cheerful]] ([[ThePollyanna despite her past]] -- [[RealityIsUnrealistic not unheard of in real life]], but with Sues it tends to come across as AngstWhatAngst) -- or [[{{Wangst}} unnecessarily mopey and depressed]].
* [[IncorruptiblePurePureness Incorruptible]]. In fact, unaware of the possibility of temptation.
* Occasionally a [[JerkSue complete asshole]], especially when she's ''supposed'' to be all of the above. Nobody will [[WhatTheHellHero call her out]] on her abrasive, casually abusive behavior. Strong badass characters who would normally rip someone's spleen out for squeezing the toothpaste from the wrong end, are instantly cowed and become meek, spineless {{Wangst}} factories as soon as she "puts them in their place."
** Full-on {{Jerk Sue}}s will routinely be flippant, snide, and rude, yet will be treated as a charmingly sarcastic character. They will flout authority as a matter of course and never suffer the consequences. Even if said authority figure is known for a tough stance on disrespect, they will either gamely ignore the Sue's challenge to their authority, or--worse still--''praise'' her for her "cheekiness" or "boldness."
* Her [[GoodFlawsBadFlaws "major flaws"]] will be stubbornness and a bad temper. These will only ever help her, never hurt her -- because she's always right, so whatever cause she dedicates herself to with such stubbornness will be a good cause, and whoever she loses her temper with will deserve it.
** Sometimes they'll mess her up once so she can learn an [[BrokenAesop important lesson]]. And then they'll help her for the rest of the story.
** A character who's described as being blunt to the point of rudeness or tactlessness will be praised for being "refreshingly honest" or for "telling it like it is." Only the bad guys or other unsympathetic characters will ever say, "What a bitch."
* If she has any flaws intentionally written in by the creator, expect them to be [[InformedFlaw Informed]] or [[SuetifulAllAlong not really flaws to begin with]]. Bonus points if they're genuine flaws that would actually be pretty awesome were it not for their drawbacks (e.g. substance abuse, nymphomania, etc.), and of course [[FunctionalAddict the drawbacks will never be shown]].
** Clumsiness in the MarySue is not seen as a flaw, but a potentially cute character trait. If it ''is'' implemented heavily enough into a character to be a flaw, the character devolves into PluckyComicRelief and if they are the protagonist, the story risks becoming pure slapstick.
* Unjustified IJustWantToBeNormal: [[CursedWithAwesome Being super awesome is a curse]]. Now in a franchise like ''Franchise/XMen'', a character can find their awesomeness a curse, but at the very least it's because mutants are feared and their powers can cause them serious problems. The MarySue, on the other hand, will claim she wishes she was normal even when there's no actual downside to her powers.

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* ''What'' personality? In these cases, it's fairly blatant that The typical MarySue doesn't have one, because she isn't ''meant'' to be a character; rather, she's an entity by which the author is just writing the character for amazing makes cool stuff to happen ''to'' instead of a character that actually exists as a person. Obviously, this is only a MarySue trait if what happens gives the character happen. She's thus not defined by her personality, but rather by her [[TouchedByVorlons special powers]], fantastic romances, or somehow lets her be a and [[BigDamnHeroes big damned heroine]]; otherwise it's just another faceless first-person perspective.
** The
random acts of heroism]].
* What little
personality of a MarySue -- if she has one -- is not nearly isn't as important as how other characters react to it. No matter how shy or socially awkward MarySue is ''supposed'' to be, other characters will be drawn to her and inexplicably prefer her company over that of anyone else. drawn to her. All of her ideas are brilliant, all of her jokes are funny, and all of her advice is an amazing breakthrough. spot-on. People will trust her immediately, or very quickly, and feel implicitly, even more comfortable talking to her than to anyone else (even their own family or their families, significant other), even if she hasn't done others, or said anything closest friends. Anyone who doesn't react to make them feel that way about her.
** If another character ''doesn't'' feel
her this way about MarySue, it's is usually to portray them portrayed as either bad evil or just an idiot.
** MarySue
stupid. She doesn't have to actually ''do'' anything to be considered a deserve this treatment; she's an impossibly good person--she just ''is'' good. By extension, anything person because the author says she does is good, and even when she does nothing she brings more good into the world simply by existing than any other character ever could. Goodness just seems to seep out of her body like radiation.
is.
* She's [[EasyEvangelism Highly persuasive]], extremely persuasive]]; everyone finds her opinions to be better than their own, regardless of the actual content of the conversations. Everyone finds her opinions supposedly awesome arguments. This is especially common in an AuthorTract. It's also particularly jarring when characters who are just better than their own -- usually very stubborn [[CharacterDerailment even when they're usually stubborn bastards]]. This is especially likely in an AuthorTract.
immediately take her side]].
* FriendToAllLivingThings. It's becoming gradually less common as authors catch on to She's a FriendToAllLivingThings and AllLovingHero. Although the MarySueClassic framework.
** She [[AllLovingHero loves everyone and forgives
other characters are nowhere near as awesome as she is, she will forgive them for all for their imperfections]]. imperfections. And she's [[MartyrWithoutACause Plus she is willing to save, protect or risk all]] her own safety]] to save another person, [[TheDulcineaEffect for the sake of someone even people she has met just seconds ago]].
* Is either [[GenkiGirl brave
met]]. This is such a MarySueClassic trait that authors are starting to catch on, and cheerful]] ([[ThePollyanna despite her past]] -- [[RealityIsUnrealistic not unheard of in real life]], but with Sues it tends to come across as AngstWhatAngst) -- or [[{{Wangst}} unnecessarily mopey and depressed]].
it's gradually becoming less common.
* She's [[IncorruptiblePurePureness Incorruptible]]. In fact, incorruptible]] -- so much so that she may be unaware of the possibility ''concept'' of temptation.
* Occasionally She has a DarkAndTroubledPast, which she deals with in two ways: either she turns up the {{Wangst}} (and thus gets lots of attention), or she remains [[AngstWhatAngst unreasonably cheerful and optimistic]] in spite of it and becomes a full-on GenkiGirl. There is no middle ground here.
* She may be flawed, but these are all {{Informed Flaw}}s. This usually happens when the author is actively avoiding these common traits but doesn't know [[GoodFlawsBadFlaws how to do this realistically]]. This usually leads to "flaws" that [[SuetifulAllAlong never actually hinder the character or make her look bad]]. If it's something that makes her DarkerAndEdgier, like [[FunctionalAddict substance abuse]] or [[ExtremeLibido nymphomania]], we never see any of the drawbacks of it. If she's a klutz, that just makes her a CuteClumsyGirl. And sometimes she will even complain about her [[CursedWithAwesome awesome power]] or [[SoBeautifulItsACurse stunning beauty]] or [[IJustWantToBeNormal special place in the world]], for no reason other than author realizing that the character can't look ''too'' perfect -- except [[MostFanficWritersAreGirls she]] usually forgets to write in circumstances that would ''actually'' cause someone to react that way.
* And occasionally she'll be
a [[JerkSue complete asshole]], especially even when she's ''supposed'' to be all of the above. Nobody will This can manifest itself in several ways:
** The author wants to write a {{Badass}} but doesn't know how. This leads to a character who mistreats everyone around her and is never
[[WhatTheHellHero call her called out]] on her abrasive, casually abusive behavior. Strong And other badass characters who would normally rip someone's spleen out for squeezing the toothpaste from the wrong end, are characters, no matter how tough or violent, provide her with an opportunity to "put them in their place" -- or rather, they instantly cowed capitulate and become meek, spineless turn into meek {{Wangst}} factories as soon as she "puts them in their place."
around her.
** Full-on {{Jerk Sue}}s will routinely be flippant, snide, and rude, yet will be treated The author is trying to present her assholery as a charmingly sarcastic character. They will flout authority as a matter of course and never suffer flaw, but fails like with all the consequences. Even if said authority figure is known for a tough stance on disrespect, they will either gamely ignore the Sue's challenge to their authority, or--worse still--''praise'' her for her "cheekiness" or "boldness."
* Her [[GoodFlawsBadFlaws "major flaws"]] will be
other flaws listed above. A "flaw" like stubbornness and will never come back to bite her because she will always turn out to be right all along. A bad temper just gives her an excuse to [[CurbStompBattle pwn her enemies]], all of whom deserve it. Rudeness or tactlessness is usually portrayed positively as a form of BrutalHonesty.
** The author doesn't know how to hold back the character, meaning that [[GodModeSue she will succeed at practically everything]]. This means that when she encounters rules or authority figures who would otherwise prevent her from doing what she wants to do, she rolls right through them (and they praise her for her "boldness" in defying regulations). If
a bad temper. These will only ever help her, never hurt guy is violent and aggressive, she can beat him by being more violent and aggressive (with all that entails). It's impossible for her -- to go overboard because she's always right, so whatever cause she dedicates herself to with such stubbornness will be a good cause, and whoever she loses her temper with will deserve it.
** Sometimes they'll mess her up once so she can learn an [[BrokenAesop important lesson]]. And then they'll help her for the rest of the story.
** A character who's described as being blunt to the point of rudeness or tactlessness will be praised for being "refreshingly honest" or for "telling it like it is." Only the bad guys or other unsympathetic characters will ever say, "What a bitch."
* If she has any flaws intentionally written in
protected by the creator, expect them to be [[InformedFlaw Informed]] or [[SuetifulAllAlong not really flaws to begin with]]. Bonus points if they're genuine flaws that would actually be pretty awesome were it not for their drawbacks (e.g. substance abuse, nymphomania, etc.), and of course [[FunctionalAddict the drawbacks will never be shown]].
** Clumsiness in the MarySue is not seen as a flaw, but a potentially cute character trait. If it ''is'' implemented heavily enough into a character to be a flaw, the character devolves into PluckyComicRelief and if they are the protagonist, the story risks becoming pure slapstick.
* Unjustified IJustWantToBeNormal: [[CursedWithAwesome Being super awesome is a curse]]. Now in a franchise like ''Franchise/XMen'', a character can find their awesomeness a curse, but at the very least it's because mutants are feared and their powers can cause them serious problems. The MarySue, on the other hand, will claim she wishes she was normal even when there's no actual downside to her powers.
ProtagonistCenteredMorality.



* Inexplicable and/or poorly-defined abilities in general, especially if they [[InformedAbility play no role in the plot]] after their introduction (not even as a [[RequiredSecondaryPowers Required Secondary Power]]) and are only there to make the character seem even more awesome.
* Regardless of what skill level the canon characters have established, she might just simply be ''better'' than them, often in ways that [[PlotInducedStupidity do not make sense]]. Not to mention that if she isn't already skilled at something, [[InstantExpert she'll pick it up in a fraction of the time required]] -- [[NewPowersAsThePlotDemands if she even needs to learn it at all]]. She/he may have powers similar to what the other characters have, only with [[StoryBreakerPower all of the downsides and limitations removed]].
** (See also: AlwaysSomeoneBetter, GodModeSue.)
* A perfect singing voice. Most often shows up in MarySueClassic. This died out for a while, but is returning due to the popularity of pop divas. She may also have an extreme proficiency with a musical instrument of her choice. (Bonus points if said instrument is something that would be ''highly'' improbable for her to know how to play, such as a PrincessClassic from medieval France who knows how to play the didgeridoo.)
** And if it's a SongFic, she'll possess the ability to compose her own lyrics and songs. Of course, they're ''not'' her own lyrics; they've been ripped off the internet by the author.
* She tends to [[IdealizedSex not have]] [[AnatomicallyImpossibleSex normal sex]], but [[GoodPeopleHaveGoodSex the most mind-blowingly divine sex ever]], regardless of how experienced she actually is. (She is ''usually'', though not always, [[NatureAdoresAVirgin explicitly a virgin]].) And her lover is often a DracoInLeatherPants quickly {{Heel Face Turn}}ed by her [[SexFaceTurn vagina]].
* [[{{Omniglot}} Speaks several languages fluently]]. This can vary depending on the setting, of course. A modern-day diplomat is expected to know at least one or two other languages, but a 14-year-old peasant girl in Medieval Europe shouldn't speak Japanese and Hindi fluently. It's much worse if it [[SpeaksFluentAnimal includes animals]]. Bonus points if an alien lands in her backyard and she can communicate instantly ([[AliensSpeakingEnglish provided it doesn't speak the language already]]).
** The most common second languages are probably Romance languages ([[EverythingSoundsSexierInFrench because they sound awesome]]), Japanese (for the otaku) and Lakota (many Sues[[note]]A [[IncrediblyLamePun Mary Sioux?]][[/note]] are of American Indian admixture, [[ButNotTooBlack but never more than half]]).
* Skilled in a type of martial arts in a setting or with a backstory that doesn't allow for it. Not regularly skilled either; she could kick the ass of the resident ninja of her choice.
* Just random magical powers, such as telepathy in a universe where it's never even been mentioned.
* Absurd natural athletic ability -- she can run like the wind without ever having worked on her running, and has impossibly high acrobatic skills.
* And with all this -- don't expect the GreenEyedMonster to show up. Envy appears in the Mary Sue's life only as a means of angst, and so does not appear just because the Mary Sue has everything.
** Alternately, anybody who does get jealous is a bitch and [[ProtagonistCenteredMorality is wrong]]. This is typically a single other character and may be DieForOurShip or for other reasons.
* {{Mary Sue}} always has excellent fashion sense. Even if she's meant to be a rough-and-tumble {{Tomboy}} type who doesn't care about that sort of thing, she will always look [[UnkemptBeauty effortlessly beautiful]] and other characters, often males, will frequently talk about how they like that she isn't as high maintenance as other girls (if she has a female rival they might mention her specifically).
* All skills and traits unusual for the setting can pretty easily fall into this, since young authors usually forget to portray all consequences of picking a certain trade. For example, a medieval peasant girl will have no problems becoming a respected genius scholar.
* VirginPower.

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* Inexplicable and/or poorly-defined abilities in general, especially if they Her skills will generally be inexplicable and poorly defined. Many of them may [[InformedAbility play no role in the plot]] after their introduction (not plot]], not even as a [[RequiredSecondaryPowers Required {{Required Secondary Power]]) and are only there Power|s}}; they're introduced solely to make the character seem even more awesome.
* Regardless of what skill level She will always be better than the canon characters, regardless of what canon has established they can do or whether it makes any sense. Her powers will often be similar to those of the existing characters, only with [[StoryBreakerPower all the downsides and limitations removed]]. If the characters have established, she might just simply be ''better'' than them, need a new skill, she'll often in ways that [[PlotInducedStupidity do not make sense]]. Not to mention that if she isn't [[NewPowersAsThePlotDemands already skilled at something, have it]]. And if she does need to learn it, [[InstantExpert she'll pick it up in a fraction of the time required]] -- [[NewPowersAsThePlotDemands if she even needs to learn it at all]]. She/he may have powers similar to what the other characters have, only no time]]. It's especially common with [[StoryBreakerPower all of the downsides and limitations removed]].
** (See also: AlwaysSomeoneBetter, GodModeSue.)
a GodModeSue.
* A She has a perfect singing voice. Most often shows up in MarySueClassic. This died out for a while, but is returning due to the popularity of pop divas. She may also have an extreme proficiency with be extremely proficient at a musical instrument of her choice. (Bonus points if said instrument is something that (often one which would be ''highly'' highly improbable for her to know how to play, such as like a PrincessClassic from medieval France who knows how to play French princess playing the didgeridoo.)
**
didgeridoo). And if it's in a SongFic, she'll possess the ability to even compose her own lyrics and songs. Of course, they're ''not'' her own lyrics; they've been songs (which the author has conveniently ripped off from the internet by Internet). It's a very common MarySueClassic trait, enough that it died out for a bit when authors caught on, but with the author.
popularity of {{Idol Singer}}s it's never quite gone away completely.
* She tends to [[IdealizedSex not have]] [[AnatomicallyImpossibleSex doesn't have normal sex]], but sex; she has [[GoodPeopleHaveGoodSex the most mind-blowingly divine sex ever]], regardless of how experienced she actually is. (She is ''usually'', though not always, ever]]. Interestingly, she's often also [[NatureAdoresAVirgin explicitly a virgin]].) And her virgin]] at the start of the story. Her lack of experience never diminishes the quality of the sex; nor does [[AnatomicallyImpossibleSex anatomical impossibility]] (which usually betrays the ''author's'' lack of experience). Her lover is often a DracoInLeatherPants quickly {{Heel Face Turn}}ed by her DracoInLeatherPants, an enemy who can be [[SexFaceTurn redeemed by her vagina]].
* She [[{{Omniglot}} Speaks speaks several languages fluently]]. This can vary depending on the setting, Most of course. A modern-day diplomat is expected to know at least one or two other languages, but a 14-year-old peasant girl in Medieval Europe shouldn't speak Japanese and Hindi fluently. It's much worse if it [[SpeaksFluentAnimal includes animals]]. Bonus points if an alien lands in her backyard and she can communicate instantly ([[AliensSpeakingEnglish provided it doesn't speak the language already]]).
** The most common second
these languages are probably totally unrelated and just what the author thinks sounds cool; they range from Romance languages ([[EverythingSoundsSexierInFrench because they sound awesome]]), Japanese (for the otaku) and [[EverythingSoundsSexierInFrench like French or Italian]] to [[GratuitousJapanese Japanese]] to Lakota (many Sues[[note]]A [[IncrediblyLamePun Mary Sioux?]][[/note]] Sioux]]?[[/note]] are of American Indian admixture, [[ButNotTooBlack but never more than half]]).
* Skilled
half]]). Sometimes the author will put the character in a type situation where it would make sense to know multiple languages (like making her a diplomat or a translator); most of the time, they won't. The worst cases can also [[SpeaksFluentAnimal communicate with animals]] and aliens [[AliensSpeakingEnglish who don't already speak English]].
* Her skills will often be unrealistic within the story's setting. She can be a master of a
martial arts in a setting or with a backstory art that she should have no way of learning or [[ArtisticLicenseMartialArts which doesn't allow for it. Not regularly skilled either; she could kick the ass of the resident ninja of her choice.
* Just random magical powers, such as telepathy
exist]]. She can use magic or {{telepathy}} in a universe where it's never even been mentioned.
* Absurd natural athletic ability --
that's [[LikeRealityUnlessNoted like reality otherwise]]. Her physical abilities will be absurd; she can run like the wind without breaking a sweat or ever having worked on her running, and has impossibly high acrobatic skills.
* And with all this -- don't expect the GreenEyedMonster to show up. Envy appears in the Mary Sue's life only as a means of angst, and so does not appear just because the Mary Sue has everything.
** Alternately, anybody who does get jealous is a bitch and [[ProtagonistCenteredMorality is wrong]]. This is typically a single other character and may be DieForOurShip or
trained for other reasons.
it.
* {{Mary Sue}} always She has excellent fashion sense. Usually, this happens without her even trying; she's just naturally beautiful and whatever she wears will always be awesome and stylish. Even if she's meant to be a rough-and-tumble {{Tomboy}} type who doesn't care about that sort of thing, she the characters will always look [[UnkemptBeauty effortlessly beautiful]] praise her UnkemptBeauty and other characters, perhaps even admire that she's also low-maintenance.
* And with all this, don't expect the GreenEyedMonster to show up. Envy appears in the MarySue's life only as a means of angst; it's not there to show the downsides of being awesome at ''everything''. Anybody who does get jealous of her is deliberately set up as stupid or evil (and
often males, will frequently talk about how they like that she isn't as high maintenance as other girls (if she has a female rival they might mention her specifically).
* All skills and traits unusual for
[[DieForOurShip in the setting can pretty easily fall into this, since young authors usually forget to portray all consequences way of picking a certain trade. For example, a medieval peasant girl will have no problems becoming a respected genius scholar.
* VirginPower.
the author's preferred ship]]).



* SoBeautifulItsACurse[[{{Tradesnark}} ]]. While being attractive isn't a qualifier of MarySue (who ''wants'' to be ugly?), it's a bit excessive to try and play it as being some sort of disadvantage. Alternatively, she may only be SuetifulAllAlong. In an AntiSue, this is reversed into a hideous monster. Regardless, her astounding beauty (or astounding lack of it) will make her stand out from the crowd -- [[InformedAttractiveness or so we're constantly being told]].
* [[YouGottaHaveBlueHair Unusual hair]] relative to canon is another common characteristic of MarySue. Alternatively, these features may be [[WhatBeautifulEyes amazing]] in other ways -- shining and shimmering eyes, or AnimeHair in non-Anime fandoms. RapunzelHair is also common.
** Note that White Hair isn't really considered all that unusual in anime-based fiction. It only becomes Sue-ish if it makes her special.
** More important than colour is [[SkunkStripe highlights]]. Of course hair dye is nothing special, but somehow Sue's streaks are not only a colour completely different from the base, but also ''natural''. Nature allows ''some'' leeway here -- blonds with dark roots aren't unheard of -- but that's not what Sues are after. Similarly, these "natural" highlights are often a color such as blue, pink, purple or [[YouGottaHaveBlueHair any other color that doesn't occur naturally in hair outside anime.]]
* KaleidoscopeEyes: Seeing it in text is practically an instant MarySue qualifier.
* MismatchedEyes, or heterochromia, are a common alternate choice.
* If the setting is at least semi-realistic and she isn't Caucasian, expect her to have eyes that aren't brown. Blue, green, and grey are popular choices (not counting unnatural ones like violet, gold, or cat/lizardlike), even though 90% of the world's population has boring brown eyes.
** Also expect those eyes to be described in [[PurpleProse overly poetic or specific terms]] ("celery green," "cerulean," "slate-grey"). Expect these adjectives to be repeated more than once.
* A very easy way to identify a Mary Sue is by looking at beauty magazines, note all physical attributes praised in them and look at a fanfic at the time of the beauty magazine's release to notice that all of those attributes praised in those magazines are part of the character, but taken UpToEleven. If height and weight figures are given, expect it thus to violate physics (unless she's made of Styrofoam or something).
* Mary Sues tend to be [[HollywoodThin drastically underweight]], and their authors may attempt to even instill Angst, claiming that their character is extremely overweight (or at least believes herself to be) and even [[HollywoodPudgy abused by other characters for their weight]].
** This particular trait is magnified if her role in the story has her doing things that would require a lot of upper body strength and therefore bulk, such as wielding a sword or fighting hand-to-hand. It's magnified even more if there are other female canon characters with similar roles who are built more like female mixed martial arts fighters. Having one lone waifish and delicate young girl in that group because the author thinks muscular women are gross-looking and to have that lone waif fight just as well or better than someone with more muscle mass despite her physical limitations is a bog standard MarySue trait.
** MarySue is also never depicted as putting too much effort into maintaining her body; she may get an AdrenalineMakeOver, but she ''never'' has to diet or exercise (she may exercise for other reasons, but ''never'' just to maintain a certain weight or to look a certain way) or use any cosmetic products. She just naturally looks (the author's idea of) perfect and usually doesn't understand why everyone is so impressed by her effortlessly flawless appearance. Most real-life models--male and female--spend ''hours'' a day working out and maintaining their physique because being beautiful is literally their job.
** No matter how thin the character is in other areas, however, there will be one area in which she is [[MostCommonSuperpower more than amply endowed]]. Authors with some interest in actual biology should note that women who are mistaken for anorexic are rarely G-cups.
* No matter what she's been through, MarySue will never look ugly. The worst she'll ever be reduced to is UnkemptBeauty, and even if she is somehow injured and scarred or handicapped, the scar will always be a cool-looking, Bond villain-type scar that serves as more of a decoration than anything else. Plus, when she overcomes the handicap, she will be just as amazing as she was before getting injured (or better).
** Likewise, if MarySue has a birthmark, it will be in a significant shape (heart, half moon, etc.) and never in a place that compromises her beauty. Expect the Mary Sue to think the birthmark makes her unattractive. This will be despite the fact that other characters insist that the birthmark makes her more attractive, especially in comparison to physically flawless characters.
* She'll often wear [[{{Stripperiffic}} revealing outfits]] with tons of gems, fishnets, FrillsOfJustice, and other extraneous details, even if it may be difficult or impossible to find such an outfit in her world (or be well outside of her realistic price bracket). Such flashy outfits will likely be [[ImpracticallyFancyOutfit just too impractical]] to wear in RealLife. Even if the rest of the cast wears uniform.
* Purple seems to be popular. After all, GracefulLadiesLikePurple, PurpleIsPowerful and SupernaturalIsPurple. This applies especially when the canon characters are a FiveManBand color-coded with red, yellow, green, blue and white/silver/black/pink. Gold is about the second most popular.
* Descriptions of her looks are usually overly-detailed and distinctly [[PurpleProse violet-hued]]. Because saying she's slim with long black hair and blue eyes only tells you what she looks like. Saying she's a delicate, willowy goddess with flowing tresses that shimmer onyx like the feathers of a raven and sparkling cerulean orbs that shine like the ocean and radiate with femininity tells you she's ''special''. Likewise she will describe her clothing in pretentious PurpleProse. Sometimes she'll do it with ''every'' outfit she wears.
* If you're on a roleplay site that takes faceclaims or playbys (celebrities that represent what the character looks like), you can bet their faceclaim will be someone who's [[YoungerThanTheyLook in their late 20s while the character is 16.]] And you'll be lucky to find one that doesn't use a faceclaim who's universally perceived as lovely. (Creator/MeganFox, Music/SelenaGomez, Miranda Kerr, Adriana Lima and other Victoria's Secrets models...) Bonus points if it's an emo-sue with Amy Lee as their face.
* If they are some sort of animal or generally nonhuman species, they may have strange and unnatural fur colours -- even outside of the aforementioned purple. Also expect colour combinations that clash horrifically (especially in text where thought will not have been put into how they actually ''look'').
** There's also a tendency to give animals humanlike hair and NonMammalianMammaries.
* In many cases, she'll possess some animal-like physical trait, such as wings, cat ears, or a tail, [[LittleBitBeastly but otherwise appears human]], in a world were such traits are rare or nonexistent. Bonus points if she believes this makes her look ugly even when all the other characters tell her [[ButYourWingsAreBeautiful the exact opposite]].
* Obscenely long eyelashes. Appears on Sues of both genders.
* Their skin color is either the same as the author's or what the author views as the prettiest/ideal skin color. Because of this, Mary Sues are usually white (and often a pale shade of white,) but darker-skinned Sues are not unheard of (see the section on ethnicity below.)
* A VillainSue ''may'' have physical flaws, but a "good" Sue ''[[BeautyEqualsGoodness never]]'' [[BeautyEqualsGoodness will]]. Especially so if she happens to be a PuritySue and/or a RelationshipSue.

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* She's SoBeautifulItsACurse[[{{Tradesnark}} ]]. While being Being attractive isn't doesn't make a qualifier of MarySue in and of itself (who ''wants'' to be ugly?), it's a bit excessive but when the author tries to try and play it as being some sort of disadvantage. Alternatively, she may only so strong as to be SuetifulAllAlong. In an AntiSue, this is reversed into a hideous monster. Regardless, her astounding beauty (or astounding lack of it) disadvantage, that's a sign you're dealing with a Sue. The other characters will make her stand out from the crowd -- constantly bring up how beautiful she is (even if [[InformedAttractiveness or so we're constantly being told]].
* [[YouGottaHaveBlueHair Unusual hair]] relative
the readers have no reason to canon is another common characteristic of MarySue. believe it themselves]]). Alternatively, these features may be [[WhatBeautifulEyes amazing]] in other ways -- shining an author might realize how common a trait this is and shimmering eyes, or AnimeHair in non-Anime fandoms. RapunzelHair is also common.
** Note that White Hair isn't really considered
downplay the character's beauty, but she will forget to address all that unusual in anime-based fiction. It only becomes Sue-ish if it the ''other'' problems; this usually makes her special.
** More important than colour is [[SkunkStripe highlights]]. Of course hair dye is nothing special, but somehow Sue's streaks are not only a colour completely different from the base, but also ''natural''. Nature allows ''some'' leeway here -- blonds with dark roots aren't unheard of -- but that's not what Sues are after. Similarly, these "natural" highlights are often a color such as blue, pink, purple
SuetifulAllAlong or [[YouGottaHaveBlueHair any other color that doesn't occur naturally in hair outside anime.]]
* KaleidoscopeEyes: Seeing it in text is practically
an instant MarySue qualifier.
AntiSue.
* MismatchedEyes, or heterochromia, are a common alternate choice.
* If the setting is at least semi-realistic and she isn't Caucasian, expect her to have eyes that aren't brown. Blue, green, and grey are popular choices (not counting unnatural ones like violet, gold, or cat/lizardlike), even though 90% of the world's population has boring brown eyes.
** Also expect those eyes to
She will be described in [[PurpleProse overly poetic or specific terms]] ("celery green," "cerulean," "slate-grey"). Expect these adjectives to be repeated more than once.
* A very easy way to identify a Mary Sue is by looking at beauty magazines, note all physical attributes praised in them
PurpleProse and look at a fanfic at the time of the beauty magazine's release to notice that all of those attributes praised in those magazines are part of the character, but taken UpToEleven. If height and weight figures are given, expect it thus to violate physics (unless she's made of Styrofoam or something).
* Mary Sues tend to be [[HollywoodThin drastically underweight]], and their authors may attempt to even instill Angst, claiming that their character is extremely overweight (or at least believes herself to be) and even [[HollywoodPudgy abused by other characters for their weight]].
** This particular trait is magnified if her role in the story has her doing things that would require a lot of upper body strength and therefore bulk, such as wielding a sword or fighting hand-to-hand. It's magnified even more if there are other female canon characters with similar roles who are built more like female mixed martial arts fighters. Having one lone waifish and delicate young girl in that group because the author thinks muscular women are gross-looking and to have that lone waif fight just as well or better than someone with more muscle mass despite her physical limitations is a bog standard MarySue trait.
** MarySue is also never depicted as putting too much effort into maintaining her body; she may get an AdrenalineMakeOver, but she ''never'' has to diet or exercise (she may exercise for other reasons, but ''never'' just to maintain a certain weight or to look a certain way) or use any cosmetic products. She just naturally looks (the author's idea of) perfect and usually doesn't understand why everyone is so impressed by her effortlessly flawless appearance. Most real-life models--male and female--spend ''hours'' a day working out and maintaining their physique because being beautiful is literally their job.
** No matter how thin the character is in other areas, however, there will be one area in which she is [[MostCommonSuperpower more than amply endowed]]. Authors with some interest in actual biology should note that women who are mistaken for anorexic are rarely G-cups.
* No matter what she's been through, MarySue will never look ugly. The worst she'll ever be reduced to is UnkemptBeauty, and even if she is somehow injured and scarred or handicapped, the scar will always be a cool-looking, Bond villain-type scar that serves as more of a decoration than anything else. Plus, when she overcomes the handicap, she will be just as amazing as she was before getting injured (or better).
** Likewise, if MarySue has a birthmark, it will be in a significant shape (heart, half moon, etc.) and never in a place that compromises her beauty. Expect the Mary Sue to think the birthmark makes her unattractive. This will be despite the fact that other characters insist that the birthmark makes her more attractive, especially in comparison to physically flawless characters.
* She'll often wear [[{{Stripperiffic}} revealing outfits]] with tons of gems, fishnets, FrillsOfJustice, and other extraneous details, even if it may be difficult or impossible to find such an outfit in her world (or be well outside of her realistic price bracket). Such flashy outfits will likely be [[ImpracticallyFancyOutfit just too impractical]] to wear in RealLife. Even if the rest of the cast wears uniform.
* Purple seems to be popular. After all, GracefulLadiesLikePurple, PurpleIsPowerful and SupernaturalIsPurple. This applies especially when the canon characters are a FiveManBand color-coded with red, yellow, green, blue and white/silver/black/pink. Gold is about the second most popular.
* Descriptions of her looks are usually overly-detailed and distinctly [[PurpleProse violet-hued]]. Because saying
incredible detail. Saying she's slim with long black hair and blue eyes only tells you what she looks like. Saying she's a delicate, willowy goddess with flowing tresses that shimmer onyx like the feathers of a raven and sparkling cerulean orbs that shine like the ocean and radiate with femininity tells you she's ''special''. Likewise she will describe her Her clothing in pretentious PurpleProse. Sometimes she'll do it with ''every'' gets the same treatment (sometimes for each individual outfit she wears.
* If you're on a roleplay site that takes faceclaims or playbys (celebrities that represent what the character looks like), you can bet their faceclaim will be someone who's [[YoungerThanTheyLook in their late 20s while the character is 16.]] And you'll be lucky to find one that doesn't use a faceclaim who's universally perceived as lovely. (Creator/MeganFox, Music/SelenaGomez, Miranda Kerr, Adriana Lima and other Victoria's Secrets models...) Bonus points if it's an emo-sue with Amy Lee as their face.
* If they are some sort of animal or generally nonhuman species, they may have strange and unnatural fur colours -- even outside of the aforementioned purple. Also expect colour combinations that clash horrifically (especially in text where thought will not have been put into how they actually ''look'').
** There's also a tendency to give animals humanlike hair and NonMammalianMammaries.
* In many cases, she'll possess some animal-like physical trait, such as wings, cat ears, or a tail, [[LittleBitBeastly but otherwise appears human]], in a world were such traits are rare or nonexistent. Bonus points if she believes this makes her look ugly even when all the other characters tell her [[ButYourWingsAreBeautiful the exact opposite]].
* Obscenely long eyelashes. Appears on Sues of both genders.
wears).
* Their skin Not coincidentally, the ''color'' purple is also popular, partly because it [[ColorCodedForYourConvenience helps her stand out]] and partly because it stands for particularly exotic traits (see GracefulLadiesLikePurple, PurpleIsPowerful, and SupernaturalIsPurple).
* She will have unusual hair, especially relative to canon characters' hair. This usually means a [[YouGottaHaveBlueHair unique hair color]] or [[ImprobableHairstyle a funky hairstyle]]; RapunzelHair is also common. The worst offenders have unusual [[SkunkStripe highlights]], often natural but in a
color is either the same as the author's not found in nature. It's essentially taking AnimeHair and using it ''everywhere''.
* She will also have [[WhatBeautifulEyes unusual eyes]]. Almost no MarySue has brown eyes, and they'll only be blue
or what green if she's not Caucasian. Often, it's a color not found in nature, like violet or gold. She might have MismatchedEyes to get more unusual colors in. And if she has KaleidoscopeEyes, that's almost an instant MarySue indicator. Whatever color her eyes are, expect the author views as the prettiest/ideal skin color. Because of this, Mary Sues are usually white (and to use PurpleProse to describe them ("celery green", "cerulean", "slate grey") and for these terms to be repeated often.
* She is
often a pale shade of white,) but darker-skinned Sues [[HollywoodThin very underweight]]; if height and weight figures are not unheard given, expect them to violate physics unless she's made of (see the section on ethnicity below.)
* A VillainSue ''may'' have
Styrofoam. Furthermore, she often does physical flaws, activity like sword fighting or hand-to-hand combat that are much harder when you're that thin. This seems almost entirely because the author thinks a supermodel would look more attractive than an [[UsefulNotes/MixedMartialArts MMA fighter]], who could more realistically undertake these tasks. Scarily, MarySue may even consider herself overweight (or at least HollywoodPudgy). Despite this, she will almost always [[MostCommonSuperpower be very amply endowed in one particular area]], regardless of how biologically rare that would be.
* She is almost never depicted as putting any effort into ''maintaining'' her impossibly "perfect" body. She never has to diet or exercise to stay in fighting shape. She never has to use cosmetic products to maintain her beauty; the most she may get is an AdrenalineMakeOver. Authors essentially give her a supermodel appearance without the hours of body maintenance RealLife supermodels undergo every day.
* She will [[BeautyIsNeverTarnished never look ugly]], no matter what she's been through; the worst she'll ever be reduced to is UnkemptBeauty. If she is ever somehow injured or scarred, the scar [[GoodScarsEvilScars will always look cool]] and serve more as a decoration than anything else. She may have a birthmark,
but never in a "good" Sue ''[[BeautyEqualsGoodness never]]'' [[BeautyEqualsGoodness will]]. Especially so place that compromises her beauty (although she may {{Wangst}} that it does, no other character will agree with her); it will also have a significant shape or be a BirthmarkOfDestiny.
* All of her outfits are {{impractically fancy|outfit}}. They're usually [[{{Stripperiffic}} very revealing]], have tons of gems and other extraneous details, and include fishnets or FrillsOfJustice. If she's supposed to wear a uniform, it will be a NonUniformUniform
if she happens wears one at all.
* She may possess an animal-like physical trait, like wings, tails, or [[CatGirl cat ears]], but [[LittleBitBeastly otherwise appear human]], especially in a world where such traits are rare or nonexistent. Sometimes she will believe this makes her look ugly, but every other character will insist [[ButYourWingsAreBeautiful the exact opposite]].
* If she's an ''actual'' animal or other non-human species, expect strange and unnatural fur colors (purple or otherwise). Color combinations will tend
to clash horrifically, as if the author just threw together what she thought was cool and gave no thought to how it would actually look. She may also still have humanlike hair and NonMammalianMammaries.
* Some Sues appear on roleplay sites that encourage "faceclaims" -- the author can use a picture of a real celebrity to represent what the character looks like. A Sue will almost always have someone extraordinarily pretty as a faceclaim, like a Victoria's Secret model. If the character is a teenager, [[YoungerThanTheyLook her faceclaim will
be a PuritySue and/or a RelationshipSue. in her late 20s]]. And if she's an {{Emo}} Sue, her faceclaim will almost always be [[Music/{{Evanescence}} Amy Lee]].



* Magic jewelry. It might be used as a GreenLanternRing to justify her abilities. Bonus points if [[PowerGlows it glows.]]
* Exotic weaponry in a setting where she shouldn't have access to it. Usually, the question of why the law enforcement allows her to carry it doesn't come up and nobody seems to find a [[GirlWithPsychoWeapon girl carrying a large sword]] intimidating. Bonus points if there is [[{{Hammerspace}} no explanation for where she keeps it]].
** A katana. Now it's not impossible to have a katana outside of Japan anymore, but when it's because KatanasAreJustBetter (especially in a place they either shouldn't exist or would be technically useless), you've got Sue-ness coming on. ''[[DualWielding Two]]'' katanas is almost always a dead sure sign.
** Sometime they'll use guns instead, especially if the setting doesn't usually have them, and in which case they're almost always [[RevolversAreJustBetter revolvers]]. Or a [[GatlingGood minigun]]. Or if [[AuthorAppeal they're particularly into firearms]], just check the list of RareGuns (Desert Eagle in particular). Often [[GunPorn as lavishly described as the outfits]].
* If she has her own transport, it will always be [[TravelCool cool and expensive]]. Sometimes she has her own TimeMachine - even worse if it's based on something from a different canon.
* She may have access to a HumongousMecha in a universe that lacks them, or only hands them out on a case-by-case basis.
* [[TheWebAlwaysExisted The web exists everywhere]] for her - she can whip out her laptop '''''anywhere''''' and have access to both our normal internet and the local internet of whatever world she lives in. [[EverythingIsOnline And use it to hack toasters and the Pentagon]]. Additional Sue points if her laptop displays an unnaturally long battery life. (i.e. the battery never runs out, even while adventuring in places where there's no obvious means of recharging it, such as forests, deserts, or mountains.)
** Bonus points if the story is set in a world or time period where the internet doesn't exist, such as a medieval fantasy world or prehistoric Earth, among other possible places.
* Music players, usually an iPod, are common. Rarely more than a device to let the Sue and canon characters [[AuthorAppeal listen to the songs the author likes]]. Bonus points if the songs and bands didn't exist at the time the story takes place. Even more bonus points if Mary Sue ends up in a low-tech fantasy realm, and people are more impressed by the amazing music than the device itself.
* If the Suethor's favorite character has a one-of-a-kind weapon, Mary Sue can have a related weapon. The trait is reinforced when Mary Sue's weapon was handed down to her through generations, especially if, in canon, no one knows where the original weapon came from. For example, if [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII Sephiroth]] has the Masamune, the Mary Sue that has been foisted on him in a particular story will have an identical weapon called the Murasame.
* If she has a pet, it will be [[CoolPet exotic or fantastic]]. Wolves are very popular, as are [[PantheraAwesome big cats]], despite being undomesticated and illegal to own in most countries. As are unicorns and dragons. If most characters canonically have a pet or familiar, she might have a menagerie. The animals will rarely even be mentioned after their initial appearance, and it will never bother explaining any special care (stables for horses, permits for foreign species, etc.) they require.
* Bonus points to all of the above if Mary Sue is a poor orphan who should not be able to afford the item in question.

to:

* She has exotic weaponry in a setting where she shouldn't have access to it. Usually, no one questions why she's allowed to carry it, and nobody [[GirlWithPsychoWeapon finds her intimidating]]. Bonus points if there is [[{{Hammerspace}} no explanation for where she keeps it]]. Common MarySue weapons include:
**
Magic jewelry. It might jewelry, which can be used as a GreenLanternRing to justify her abilities. Bonus points if [[PowerGlows it glows.]]
* Exotic weaponry in ** Swords, especially a setting where she shouldn't have access to it. Usually, the question of why the law enforcement allows her to carry it doesn't come up and nobody seems to katana, because KatanasAreJustBetter. While you can find a [[GirlWithPsychoWeapon girl carrying a large sword]] intimidating. Bonus points if there is [[{{Hammerspace}} no explanation for where she keeps it]].
** A katana. Now it's not impossible to have a katana
them outside of Japan anymore, but when it's because KatanasAreJustBetter (especially in a place they either shouldn't exist or would be technically useless), you've got Sue-ness coming on. ''[[DualWielding Two]]'' katanas these days, their utility as swords is almost always not high. [[DualWielding Two katanas]] is a dead sure sign.
giveaway.
** Sometime Guns, particularly RareGuns. If they're [[GunNut particularly into guns]], they'll have ''all'' the rare guns, described [[GunPorn as lavishly as her outfits]]. She might use guns instead, especially a gun even if the setting doesn't usually have them, and in which case they're almost always she can get away with a more elegant [[RevolversAreJustBetter revolvers]]. Or a revolver]] or [[GatlingGood minigun]]. Or if [[AuthorAppeal they're particularly into firearms]], just check minigun]].
** Any weapon related to a canon one-of-a-kind weapon. The canon character's weapon may be unique, mysterious, powerful, and of unknown origin. The Sue's weapon will be
the list of RareGuns (Desert Eagle in particular). Often [[GunPorn as lavishly described as the outfits]].
same but cooler and more powerful, and she'll know exactly where hers came from; it was handed down through generations.
* If she has her own transport, it will always be [[TravelCool cool and expensive]]. Sometimes she has her own TimeMachine - even worse if it's based on something from a different canon.
*
She may have access to a HumongousMecha in a universe that lacks them, or only hands them out on a case-by-case basis.
basis. She may even have her own TimeMachine, which could be lifted wholesale out of a different canon.
* [[TheWebAlwaysExisted The web exists everywhere]] for her - her, even on other planets, medieval fantasy worlds, or prehistoric Earth -- she can whip out her laptop '''''anywhere''''' anywhere and have access to both our normal internet and the local internet of whatever world she lives in. [[EverythingIsOnline And she can use it to hack toasters and the Pentagon]]. Additional Sue points if her laptop displays an unnaturally long battery life. (i.e. the battery never runs out, life, so she can use it even while when she's been adventuring in places where there's no obvious means of recharging it, such as forests, deserts, or mountains.)
** Bonus points if
the story is set in wilderness for several days.
* She will often have
a world or time period where the internet doesn't exist, such as a medieval fantasy world or prehistoric Earth, among other possible places.
* Music players,
music player, usually an iPod, are common. Rarely more than a device iPod. It's mostly used to let the Sue and canon characters other character [[AuthorAppeal listen to the songs the author likes]]. Bonus points if the The songs and bands didn't need not exist at the time when and where the story takes place. Even more bonus points if Mary Sue ends up in a low-tech fantasy realm, and people are Sues have even been known to take these devices to [[GivingRadioToTheRomans less advanced people]], only for them to be more impressed by with the amazing music than the device itself.
* If the Suethor's favorite character has a one-of-a-kind weapon, Mary Sue can have a related weapon. The trait is reinforced when Mary Sue's weapon was handed down to her through generations, especially if, in canon, no one knows where the original weapon came from. For example, if [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII Sephiroth]] has the Masamune, the Mary Sue that has been foisted on him in a particular story will have an identical weapon called the Murasame.
itself.
* If she has a pet, it will be [[CoolPet exotic or fantastic]]. Wolves are very popular, as are [[PantheraAwesome big cats]], despite these being undomesticated and illegal to own in most countries. As {{Unicorn}}s and [[OurDragonsAreDifferent dragons]] are unicorns and dragons.common as well. If most characters canonically have a pet or familiar, she might have a menagerie. The These animals will rarely even be mentioned after their initial appearance, and it the story will never bother explaining any special care (stables how she cares for horses, permits for foreign species, etc.) they require.
* Bonus points to all of the above if Mary Sue is a poor orphan who should not be able to afford the item in question.
them.



* Some WishFulfillment with a character you think is hot isn't ''that'' bad. But MarySue seems to grab their attention straight away. Even if they already have a stable love interest in canon, that relationship will be treated as either non-existent, or the couple will be split up in some way.
** Bonus points if the love interest stands aside or sacrifices himself/herself so Mary Sue can be happy, or is [[DieForOurShip twisted into]] [[RonTheDeathEater a hateful person]] to justify Mary Sue breaking up the canon couple.
** Or perhaps Mary will be introduced as the canon character's NewOldFlame and this is their rediscovery of each other, though it's never really explained why they split up in the first place if they loved each other so much.
* Turns out to be [[LukeYouAreMyFather the offspring of a canon character]]. Made worse if that character would have been too young to have the MarySue, is gay/{{asexual|ity}}, or perhaps is just physically incapable of it. For added {{Wangst}}, it's the villain.
** She may be related to a canon character in some other way. This can be the explanation for a CopyCatSue. And why spend chapters explaining why the heroes accept a total stranger into their midst so readily, when they can just shout, "Luke, I am your sister!"
** KidFromTheFuture may explain away the 'young' part, but not much else.
** IfItsYouItsOkay can explain the "gay/asexual" part. Alternatively see MisterSeahorse which only makes said MarySue more unique.
** In some cases, the character may turn out to be the clone of another character. A common plot is for a villain to somehow make a clone of said character and for the Mary Sue to have some sort of nefarious mission (that she of course gives up because of her IncorruptiblePurePureness).
* Even the characters who don't have sex with her give her more heed than they normally would. Characters she likes can't stop praising her positive traits. Characters she doesn't like can't stop [[StrawLoser making themselves look bad]] by insulting her. Even if she's not physically present, that just means everyone can speak "freely" about her. In addition to the previous scenarios, at least one character will confess to being secretly be in love with her. There may be just "something special" about her, with no particular reason why anybody would think that. In the worst-case scenarios, they pay no heed to their own responsibilities or lives, only to Sue.
** Bonus points: the disliked character behaving badly toward the Sue eventually sees the "error" of his/her ways and grows to love Sue as much as everyone else does.
** More bonus points: the bad behavior and treatment of the Sue by disliked characters is portrayed as jealousy.
** Villains, or [[RonTheDeathEater characters made into villains]] will spend every waking moment obsessing over real or imagined slights caused by the Sue, and everything they do will be to cause the Sue's downfall.
* [[CharacterDerailment Previously-established personalities change in reaction to her]]. Arrogant gimps may admire her for everything. Sweet, mild-mannered characters (that she and the author don't like) insult and degrade her. A leader with responsibilities pays attention only to her. Young, reckless characters who would never settle down just yet will become totally reliable. Evil characters follow her around like a puppy or seem uncharacteristically obsessed with her. Extremely competent characters become stumbling buffoons who require her help to do anything. The characters in general just seem unnaturally focused on her, positive or negative.
* If she's inserted into a story from before a canon character turned out to be evil, she will be the only one who suspects him.
** Or if the canon character's evil was the result of a FaceHeelTurn, she will be the one who [[FixerSue prevents this alignment switch from happening]].
* She gets special treatment in-universe. The classic example is the ''Literature/HarryPotter'' "exchange student" fic where a 16-year-old American girl enters Hogwarts as a sixth year, is immediately given a spot on the Quidditch team and doesn't have to wear the uniform. Chances are good that Sue will be making all the calls that should be somebody else's prerogative; she's probably the one telling the Sorting Hat which house she's going to be in. [[note]]Contrary to CommonKnowledge, Harry himself did not actually get to do this. 1. He was equally qualified for all four houses, giving the Hat some leeway to consider his wishes, and 2. Harry only stated which house he did ''not'' want to be in; the final choice between the other three was still made by the Hat.[[/note]]
* May serve as a ManicPixieDreamGirl [[BroodingBoyGentleGirl if her love interest is especially dark, brooding or troubled]]. She "cures" him of that, often at the expense of his characterization.
* She may have relationships of some kind with multiple major canon characters. For example, she's the secret daughter of A who gave her up to be adopted by B's parents, making her his sister, and she goes on to have a passionate affair with C, remaining friendly with him even though she goes on to marry D, and she's E's best friend, F's closest advisor...and so on.
* [[AuthorAppeal She's dating the author's favorite character,]] e.g. "Hi there! I'm [[OverlyLongName Gemmalynne Sakura Feenixxe Fidelity Moonlight!]] And I'm dating Franchise/JamesBond!" Bonus points if canon characters start fighting over her, and bonus-bonus points if: 1. Her lover is a character that's uninterested in romance, 2. Characters who are friends in canon become enemies because they all want her, or 3. She can ''get a character to change their personality to win her affections.''

to:

* Some WishFulfillment MarySue is [[RelationshipSue often designed]] to hook up with another character, often as a character you think is hot form of WishFulfillment. This isn't ''that'' bad. But bad in and of itself, but MarySue seems to grab their accomplishes this without any sense of realism. She just grabs her lover's attention straight away. Even if they already have a stable love interest in canon, that away, and their relationship will be treated as either non-existent, never face any obstacles or the couple will be split up in some way.
** Bonus points
tension; it's straight to true love right away. The biggest giveaway is if the love interest stands aside or sacrifices himself/herself so Mary Sue is explicitly [[AuthorAppeal the author's favorite character]], and she essentially "cures" him of [[BroodingBoyGentleGirl all the angst that ails him]] (at the expense of his characterization).
* Her love interest will often be with someone else in canon. This is not a problem for MarySue, whose author
can be happy, or is get rid of the other girl in many ways, including [[DieForOurShip twisted into]] killing her off]], derailing her into [[RonTheDeathEater a hateful person]] and thus easy to justify break up with, or even letting her step aside or sacrifice herself [[IWantMyBelovedToBeHappy just so that he can be with Mary Sue]]. Sometimes Mary Sue breaking up the canon couple.
** Or perhaps Mary will be
is introduced as the a canon character's NewOldFlame and this is their rediscovery of each other, though it's never really explained NewOldFlame, explaining why they split he might leave his current girlfriend for her (but raising the question of what led them to break up in the first place if they loved each other so much.
they're ''that'' great together).
* Turns out to be [[LukeYouAreMyFather the offspring of a canon character]]. Made worse if that character would have been too young to have the MarySue, is gay/{{asexual|ity}}, or perhaps is just physically incapable of it. For added {{Wangst}}, it's the villain.
**
She may will be related to a canon character in some other way. This can be the explanation for a CopyCatSue. And why spend chapters explaining why the heroes accept a total stranger into their midst so readily, when they can just shout, "Luke, I am your sister!"
** KidFromTheFuture may
(marginally) helps explain away such phenomena as her being a CopyCatSue and other characters accepting her so easily. She will often be [[LukeYouAreMyFather a canon character's offspring]] -- perhaps even the 'young' part, villain's for added {{Wangst}} -- but not much else.
**
this tends to raise further questions, like the character being too young for a child (occasionally resolved with a KidFromTheFuture) or being gay or {{asexual|ity}} (occasionally resolved with IfItsYouItsOkay can explain the "gay/asexual" part. Alternatively see or a MisterSeahorse which only makes said MarySue scenario -- this is FanFic, after all). She may even be related to more unique.
** In some cases, the character
than one character, or she may turn out to be the a character's clone of another character. A common plot is for a villain to somehow make a clone of said character and for the Mary Sue to have some sort of nefarious mission (that she of course gives up because of her IncorruptiblePurePureness).
(but better).
* Even the Most characters who don't have sex with her give her more heed than they normally would. Characters she likes can't The good guys never stop praising her positive traits. Characters she doesn't like can't her. The bad guys never stop belittling her (and thus [[StrawLoser making themselves look bad]] by insulting her. Even if bad]]). They talk about her when she's not physically present, that just means everyone can speak "freely" about her. In addition to the previous scenarios, at present. At least one character will confess to being secretly be in love with her. There her (if more than one does, they may be just "something special" about [[CockFight fight each other over her]]). The villains will obsess over her, with no particular reason why anybody would think that. In to the worst-case scenarios, they pay no heed to point of destroying themselves in their own responsibilities jealousy or lives, only opening themselves up to Sue.
** Bonus points:
redemption and the disliked character behaving badly toward the Sue eventually sees the "error" of his/her ways and grows to love Sue as much as everyone else does.
** More bonus points: the bad behavior and treatment of the Sue
realization that she was good all along (usually [[RedemptionEqualsSex by disliked characters is portrayed as jealousy.
** Villains, or [[RonTheDeathEater characters made into villains]] will spend every waking moment obsessing over real or imagined slights caused by the Sue, and everything they do will be to cause the Sue's downfall.
having sex with her]]).
* Characters' previously established personalities [[CharacterDerailment Previously-established personalities change in reaction to her]]. Arrogant Proud, arrogant gimps may admire suddenly acknowledge her for superiority in everything. Sweet, mild-mannered characters (that she and the author don't like) insult and degrade her. A leader Reckless youths will listen to all her advice. Responsible leaders will defer to her instead. Villains will obsess with responsibilities pays attention only to her. Young, reckless characters who would never settle down just yet will become totally reliable. Evil characters follow her around like a puppy or seem uncharacteristically obsessed with her. to the detriment of all else. Extremely competent characters will become stumbling buffoons who require her help to do anything. The Sweet, mild-mannered characters in general just seem whom the author doesn't like [[RonTheDeathEater turn evil and insult her]]. They all become unnaturally focused on her, positive or negative.
her in some way.
* She's a perfect judge of character, and she'll be right about everyone. If everyone suspects an ally is really a backstabber, she'll be the only one to trust him. If everyone believes the villain is really a good guy, she'll be the one to suspect him. It's particularly obvious when she's inserted midway into a story from before a canon character turned out to be evil, she story and knows ''exactly'' how everything will be the only one who suspects him.
** Or if the
play out; this allows her to play FixerSue and do things like preventing a canon character's evil was the result of a FaceHeelTurn, she will be the one who [[FixerSue prevents this alignment switch from happening]].
FaceHeelTurn.
* She gets will get special treatment in-universe. in-universe; anything the canon characters would have to fight for or earn, she just gets automatically. The classic example is the 16-year-old American ''Literature/HarryPotter'' "exchange student" fic where a 16-year-old American girl enters Hogwarts as a sixth year, who goes to Hogwarts, is immediately given a spot on the Quidditch team team, and doesn't have to wear the uniform. Chances are good that Sue will be making all the calls that should be somebody else's prerogative; she's probably the one telling the Sorting Hat which house she's going to be in. [[note]]Contrary to CommonKnowledge, Harry himself did not actually get to do this. 1. He was equally qualified for all four houses, giving the Hat some leeway to consider his wishes, and 2. Harry only stated which house he did ''not'' want to be in; the final choice between the other three was still made by the Hat.[[/note]]
* May serve as a ManicPixieDreamGirl [[BroodingBoyGentleGirl if her love interest is especially dark, brooding or troubled]]. She "cures" him of that, often at the expense of his characterization.
* She may have relationships of some kind with multiple major canon characters. For example, she's the secret daughter of A who gave her up to be adopted by B's parents, making her his sister, and she goes on to have a passionate affair with C, remaining friendly with him even though she goes on to marry D, and she's E's best friend, F's closest advisor...and so on.
* [[AuthorAppeal She's dating the author's favorite character,]] e.g. "Hi there! I'm [[OverlyLongName Gemmalynne Sakura Feenixxe Fidelity Moonlight!]] And I'm dating Franchise/JamesBond!" Bonus points if canon characters start fighting over her, and bonus-bonus points if: 1. Her lover is a character that's uninterested in romance, 2. Characters who are friends in canon become enemies because they all want her, or 3. She can ''get a character to change their personality to win her affections.''
uniform.



* MarySue is always on the SpotlightStealingSquad. [[BlackHoleSue Without her]], [[AnthropicPrinciple there would not be a story]].
* She's TheChosenOne. Even if the canon hero is already TheChosenOne, she either 'shares' the position or just steals it away from them.
** Or she might be part of the same specialized species/organization as the hero. See SailorEarth.
** Alternately she is "destined to help the destined one fulfill their destiny" which pretty much means do all the real work except for the final blow so the prophecy isn't technically wrong.
* She is often around the age the author is, or just looks that way despite being ReallySevenHundredYearsOld so that she can be wise and leaderly. This doesn't have to be bad (there are many settings where it's acceptable) but when you start seeing [[ImprobableAge hardened military officers that are 16]]...
* SympatheticSue has an unusually DarkAndTroubledPast to excess, but other subtypes often have them too, just to emphasize how brave and special she is to live through it. This past is never really a point in the story, just dropped casually into the conversation to get attention. Alternatively it's written badly owing to not doing much research. How much she {{Wangst}}s about it is usually out of proportion with how bad it really is.
* She might be a BlitheSpirit and [[EasyEvangelism reform an entire population center]] of its negative qualities. Bonus points if this involves ThePowerOfLove, ThePowerOfRock, or (to paraphrase [[WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons Lisa Simpson]]) being "[[RuleAbidingRebel rebellious... in a conformist sort of way]]".
* Perform a HeroicSacrifice as a way to prove that she's TooGoodForThisSinfulEarth. Bonus points if the story goes out of the way to ensure she doesn't leave an ugly corpse (whether it be by a method that doesn't involve external physical damage or by [[NeverFoundTheBody her body not being recovered]]). More bonus points if it turns out to be a DisneyDeath.
* She might turn out to secretly be some kind of HalfHumanHybrid. She could be crossed with just about anything, but she's still beautiful. She'll usually be an [[OurElvesAreBetter Elf]], though other [[TheBeautifulElite "pretty" races]] will work too.
** It's possible for her to be not-so-secretly part of an "ugly" race like being half-[[OurOrcsAreDifferent Orc]] or [[AllTrollsAreDifferent Troll]], but [[ButNotTooBlack being half-human means she'll still be pretty enough by our standards, with just enough exotic features to stand out]]. Bonus points if her beauty is described as coming from her human side even if it's a setting where full-blooded women of these races are already inexplicably [[CuteMonsterGirl attractive to humans]]. For added points, make her feel [[{{Emo}} outright shame]] because she's not fully human even although, if anything, it only makes her [[FreakinessShame more beautiful]] [[CursedWithAwesome and/or powerful]].
** If there is a character in the original story who is explicitly the LastOfHisKind (or her kind), Mary Sues will often be of that race, or a hybrid of that race, just to keep him company.
* Redeems the villain through her overwhelming goodness. Might be through RedemptionEqualsSex (bonus points if it [[{{Lemon}} leads]] into IKEAErotica). Even more bonus points if the story decides to mention that this is her loss of virginity. Yet more bonus points if the villain comments on how awesome she is in bed despite said virginity.
* Is a princess. EverythingsBetterWithPrincesses, after all. Bonus points if she [[RagsToRoyalty grew up as a peasant (or equivalent social class) and only just discovered this during the story]]. Of course, in any case, it will be a position of high opulence and little actual responsibility.
** On a similar note, the ChangelingFantasy is popular enough in its own right without ever involving RagsToRoyalty to begin with. It's certainly advantageous to the writer to have a set of cruel parents that can be replaced with ideal ones.
* She will often have a tragic family life. Coming from an abusive background is quite common. Her mother is often either dead or a WickedStepmother. In the latter case, she will most likely be in CinderellaCircumstances. Her father is frequently an OverprotectiveDad (or in some cases, a Wicked Stepfather). [[DeceasedParentsAreTheBest Orphans]] are also very common, as is ParentalAbandonment.
** In darker fics, [[RapeAsBackstory her backstory often involves rape]].
** In these kinds of stories, the past is where any and all potentially interesting aspects of the Sue's adventure remain trapped. By making all the hardships and struggle over and done with at the start, she has no more room left to grow as a character. Ideally, a backstory should help explain things like a character's motive and/or how they acquired certain skills or items. A good author puts a relatively ordinary person into an extraordinary world and sees them steadily go through and react to all this pain and conflict over the course of the plot and develop into a stronger person bit by bit. A Mary Sue author skips that, with their character starting out as a badass and ending up as the exact same badass.
** Another variant on the DarkAndTroubledPast is making the Sue the so-called "black sheep of her family"....because she's so talented and special and smart that she frightens her small-minded parents, shows up her more favored siblings, and/or draws the attention of the BigBad.
** Yet another variant is to make the Sue the "WhiteSheep of the family". Literally everyone else in her family eats babies, except the Sue, which makes her ''special''.
* In fantasy canons, she can break the [[MagicAIsMagicA Rules of the World]] at will. Often, nobody will even be surprised.
* If she ever does anything wrong, she's both instantly remorseful about it ''and'' EasilyForgiven by those she wrongs. For example:

to:

* MarySue is always on the a single-person SpotlightStealingSquad. The entire story [[BlackHoleSue Without her]], hinges on her existence]]; if you removed her, [[AnthropicPrinciple there would be no story]]. All other elements of the story are designed to show off how awesome she is and cannot function independently.
* She is
not be a story]].
* She's TheChosenOne. Even if
bound by [[MagicAIsMagicA the canon hero rules of the universe]], whatever the setting may be. Nobody will ever comment on the impossibility of what she does; they'll just assume she's that talented.
* Her backstory
is already often [[ContinuitySnarl self-contradictory]], as the author piles on more and more awesome things without any regard for how they could all happen. Most continuity issues are {{Hand Wave}}d or {{Voodoo Shark}}ed.
* MarySue is
TheChosenOne, even if the setting already has one. There are many ways she either 'shares' can accomplish this: she can be a SailorEarth type who "shares" the position or just steals it away from them.
** Or
with the canon hero; she might may be part of the same specialized species/organization as the hero. See SailorEarth.
** Alternately she is
vaguely "destined to help the destined one fulfill their destiny" which pretty much means (''i.e.'' do all the real work except for the final blow so that the prophecy isn't is still technically wrong.
correct); or the canon hero may be revealed to be a FakeUltimateHero all along. Being the ChosenOne doesn't necessarily involve her being a GodModeSue, especially as authors become aware of the phenomenon and try to avoid it, but it does make her [[BarrierMaiden critically important to the world]] and allows her to continue [[SpotlightStealingSquad stealing the spotlight]] without the "god mode" label.
* That said, if the author likes the canon work, the fic will not change very much of the canon work. The worst Mary Sues of this sort don't have any effect on the canon story; they just watch the plot, correctly guess everything that will happen, and occasionally take over one of the canon characters' accomplishments, resulting in an experience that's like reading the original work with a thirteen-year-old fangirl talking in your ear. Sometimes she'll be a character who wasn't in the original work but was [[HeroOfAnotherStory super important behind the scenes]], usually as a canon character's secret LoveInterest.
* She is often around the same age as the author, usually around 16. This often becomes an ImprobableAge as Mary Sue starts taking command of everyone and everything around her. Some authors work around this by making her look 16 but be ReallySevenHundredYearsOld.
* She is usually the same ethnicity as the author; if not, she's whatever
the author is, or just looks that way despite being ReallySevenHundredYearsOld so that wishes she can could be wise (often a MagicalNativeAmerican), or [[ButNotTooForeign both]]. It often involves a ForeignCultureFetish and leaderly. This doesn't leads to UnfortunateImplications.
* Most Sues
have to be bad (there are many settings where it's acceptable) but when you start seeing [[ImprobableAge hardened military officers that are 16]]...
* SympatheticSue has
an unusually DarkAndTroubledPast to excess, but other subtypes DarkAndTroubledPast. It's often used to create a SympatheticSue, but any type of Sue can have them too, just to emphasize how brave and special she is to live through it. This past is one. Such backstories never really a point in actually factor into the story, story; they're just dropped casually dropped into the conversation narrative to get attention. Alternatively it's written badly owing draw attention to not doing much research. How much she {{Wangst}}s about it is usually the character and let her {{Wangst}} (usually out of proportion with to how bad it really is.
is). Most authors tend [[CriticalResearchFailure not to research]] such tragedies and their effects, which breaks the reader's WillingSuspensionOfDisbelief.
* Relatedly, she will often have a tragic family life. This could involve ParentalAbandonment or [[DeceasedParentsAreTheBest orphanhood]], and whichever parental figures she has are often {{abusive|parents}}, putting her squarely into CinderellaCircumstances. Darker fics will often have RapeAsBackstory. She might be the BlackSheep who's so smart and talented that the rest of her family fears and abuses her -- or she might be the WhiteSheep who's the only redeemable member of her otherwise evil family. Regardless, this backstory will never actually hold MarySue back from anything she wants to accomplish.
* She might be a BlitheSpirit and who easily [[EasyEvangelism reform reforms an entire population center]] group of people]] of its negative qualities. Bonus points if this involves This is often accomplished through ThePowerOfLove, ThePowerOfRock, or (to paraphrase [[WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons Lisa Simpson]]) being "[[RuleAbidingRebel rebellious... in a conformist sort of way]]".
* Perform She's TooGoodForThisSinfulEarth and will perform a HeroicSacrifice as a way to prove that she's TooGoodForThisSinfulEarth. Bonus points if the it. The story goes will often go out of the its way to ensure that she [[BeautyIsNeverTarnished doesn't leave an ugly corpse (whether it be corpse]], either by a method that doesn't involve involving no external physical damage or by just [[NeverFoundTheBody her not leaving a body not being recovered]]). More bonus points if it turns out to be a DisneyDeath.
recovered]]. Half the time, [[DisneyDeath it doesn't take anyway]].
* She might turn out to secretly be some kind of HalfHumanHybrid. She could be crossed with just about anything, but a HalfHumanHybrid, giving her [[FreakinessShame cause to angst]]. As explained above, though, this will never mean that she looks ugly; the most that will happen is that she's still beautiful. She'll usually be an [[OurElvesAreBetter Elf]], though other [[TheBeautifulElite "pretty" races]] a LittleBitBeastly, and rarely will work too.
** It's possible for her to be not-so-secretly
the non-human part of be an "ugly" race like being half-[[OurOrcsAreDifferent Orc]] [[OurOrcsAreDifferent orcs]] or [[AllTrollsAreDifferent Troll]], but [[ButNotTooBlack being half-human means she'll still trolls]]. In fact, the non-human part will most often be pretty enough by our standards, with just enough exotic features to stand out]]. Bonus points if her beauty is described as coming from her human side a race even if it's a setting where full-blooded women of these races are already inexplicably [[CuteMonsterGirl attractive to humans]]. For added points, make her feel [[{{Emo}} outright shame]] because she's not fully human even although, if anything, it only makes her [[FreakinessShame more beautiful]] [[CursedWithAwesome and/or powerful]].
**
''more'' [[InhumanlyBeautifulRace beautiful than humans]], like [[OurElvesAreBetter elves]]. If there is a canon character in the original story who is non-human and explicitly the LastOfHisKind (or LastOfHisKind, her kind), Mary Sues will often non-human part might be of that race, or a hybrid of that race, just to keep him company.
* Redeems She can redeem the villain through her overwhelming goodness. Might goodness and purity. More often than not, though, she does it [[RedemptionEqualsSex by having sex with him]]. As explained above, she will often be through RedemptionEqualsSex (bonus points if it [[{{Lemon}} leads]] into IKEAErotica). Even more bonus points if the story decides to mention a virgin when this happens (implying that she's sacrificing a VirginPower to redeem the villain), but this is never prevents sex with her loss of virginity. Yet more bonus points if from being [[IdealizedSex the villain comments on how most awesome she is in bed despite said virginity.
* Is a princess. EverythingsBetterWithPrincesses, after all. Bonus points if she [[RagsToRoyalty grew up
sex ever]]. It's often never ''written'' as [[IKEAErotica particularly awesome]], though.
* She's [[EverythingsBetterWithPrincesses
a peasant (or equivalent social class) and only just discovered this during the story]]. Of course, in any case, it will be princess]]. This basically gives her a position of high importance and opulence and but little actual responsibility.
** On
responsibility. It's often combined with a similar note, the RagsToRoyalty or ChangelingFantasy is popular enough in its own right without ever involving RagsToRoyalty to begin with. It's certainly advantageous to element where she only discovers her royalty during the writer to have a set of cruel parents that can be replaced with ideal ones.
story (and it makes up for her angsty DarkAndTroubledPast).
* She will often have a tragic family life. Coming from an abusive background is quite common. Her mother is often either dead or a WickedStepmother. In the latter case, she will most likely be in CinderellaCircumstances. Her father is frequently an OverprotectiveDad (or in some cases, a Wicked Stepfather). [[DeceasedParentsAreTheBest Orphans]] are also very common, as is ParentalAbandonment.
** In darker fics, [[RapeAsBackstory her backstory often involves rape]].
** In these kinds of stories, the past is where any and all potentially interesting aspects of the Sue's adventure remain trapped. By making all the hardships and struggle over and done with at the start, she has no more room left to grow as a character. Ideally, a backstory should help explain things like a character's motive and/or how they acquired certain skills or items. A good author puts a relatively ordinary person into an extraordinary world and sees them steadily go through and react to all this pain and conflict over the course of the plot and develop into a stronger person bit by bit. A Mary Sue author skips that, with their character starting out as a badass and ending up as the exact same badass.
** Another variant on the DarkAndTroubledPast is making the Sue the so-called "black sheep of her family"....because she's so talented and special and smart that she frightens her small-minded parents, shows up her more favored siblings, and/or draws the attention of the BigBad.
** Yet another variant is to make the Sue the "WhiteSheep of the family". Literally everyone else in her family eats babies, except the Sue, which makes her ''special''.
* In fantasy canons, she can break the [[MagicAIsMagicA Rules of the World]] at will. Often, nobody will even be surprised.
* If she ever
almost never does anything wrong, she's both instantly remorseful about it ''and'' wrong. In the rare instance that she does, it's usually ''(a)'' a way for the author to disclaim her being a MarySue by introducing a single imperfection (that has no bearing on anything anyway) and ''(b)'' designed to show her smarts by making her feel [[MyGodWhatHaveIDone instant remorse]], and she'll be EasilyForgiven by those she wrongs. For example:anyway:



'''Marvin's Friend:''' It's okay. I never liked him, anyway.
* She will often suffer from SpecialSnowflakeSyndrome, having some trait or backstory that sets her apart from her race.
** This can be taken to the point of being from another setting entirely. It's no coincidence that many of the most notorious fanfics are {{Massive Multiplayer Crossover}}s.
* Sometimes, the Sue has only one supernatural power: being TheChosenOne. Her [[BarrierMaiden chosenness makes her critically important to the world]], but since she has no other godlike powers, she will spend most of the story being [[DamselInDistress kidnapped]] (usually by a villainous love interest) and/or otherwise victimized. This is becoming more common as writers catch on to GodModeSue, since it allows her to continue [[SpotlightStealingSquad stealing the spotlight]] while still avoiding the "god mode" label.
* Will often be either of the author's ethnicity, an ethnicity the author wishes to be (often MagicalNativeAmerican), or [[ButNotTooForeign both]]. Not bad by itself, but can lead to UnfortunateImplications, and often occurs in cases when it's not even likely.
* In fanfiction at its most unoriginal, an AuthorAvatar is sometimes just inserted into the story as it happened (the Tenth Walker is to ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'' as the American exchange student is to ''Literature/HarryPotter'') and has basically ''no'' effect on the plot -- she's there to either elbow aside each of the canon characters in turn and take over the plot points they were responsible for, or even more boring, just stand around and watch them do their thing, thinking all the right thoughts to show what a good judge of character she is -- maybe with a romance with a canon character or an occasional FixerSue moment thrown in. Reading these fics is like experiencing the original work with a thirteen-year-old fangirl talking in your ear.
* MarySue is also often written into fanfiction as a character that not only was not shown in the actual movie (book, graphic novel, etc.) but who was [[HeroOfAnotherStory really super important behind the scenes]].
** You remember that dark, brooding, emotionally closed-off character who always had his guard up and never confided in anyone? Well, little did you know, he had a best friend/relative/therapist/love interest who was the only person he ever felt comfortable talking to and he told her all of his hopes and dreams and secret motivations.
** You know that lone vigilante who saved the day and then disappeared into the night? Well, little did you know that he had a friend/love interest who was secretly by his side through it all and even helped him to execute his plans/ helped him come up with all his best ideas/ was his whole inspiration to be a hero in the first place!
** Writing an OC who has a connection to an existing character isn't necessarily bad but must be handled delicately; too many fanfiction writers make the mistake of making their OC solely responsible for everything that was good about a particular character or putting her behind every significant canon event.
* A MarySue will often have a backstory that [[ContinuitySnarl contradicts itself]], and/or is illogical (e.g., how is it that she's the daughter of [[Literature/LesMiserables Enjolras]] and [[Literature/TheHungerGames Katniss Everdeen]] AND half-vampire? ''AND the CROWN PRINCESS OF SIAM''?) Also, [[PlotHole things often don't match up on the story's timeline]], and if the author tries to deal with the continuity issues, they are either [[HandWave waved off,]] or {{Voodoo Shark}}ed.

to:

'''Marvin's Friend:''' friend:''' It's okay. I never liked him, anyway.
* She will often suffer from SpecialSnowflakeSyndrome, having some SpecialSnowflakeSyndrome; ''i.e.'', she has a trait or backstory that sets her apart from her race.
**
group or race. This can be taken to the point of being from another setting entirely. It's no coincidence that is exacerbated by so many of the most notorious fanfics are being {{Massive Multiplayer Crossover}}s.
* Sometimes, the Sue has only one supernatural power: being TheChosenOne. Her [[BarrierMaiden chosenness makes her critically important to the world]], but since
Crossover}}s, as she has no other godlike powers, she will spend most of the story being [[DamselInDistress kidnapped]] (usually by a villainous love interest) and/or otherwise victimized. This is becoming more common as writers catch on to GodModeSue, since it allows her to continue [[SpotlightStealingSquad stealing the spotlight]] while still avoiding the "god mode" label.
* Will often be either of the author's ethnicity, an ethnicity the author wishes to be (often MagicalNativeAmerican), or [[ButNotTooForeign both]]. Not bad by itself, but
can lead to UnfortunateImplications, and often occurs in cases when it's not even likely.
* In fanfiction at its most unoriginal, an AuthorAvatar is sometimes
{{wangst}} about this just inserted into the story as it happened (the Tenth Walker is to ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'' as the American exchange student is to ''Literature/HarryPotter'') and has basically ''no'' effect on the plot -- because she's there to either elbow aside each of the canon characters in turn and take over the plot points they were responsible for, or even more boring, just stand around and watch them do their thing, thinking all the right thoughts to show what a good judge of character she is -- maybe with a romance with a canon character or from an occasional FixerSue moment thrown in. Reading these fics is like experiencing the original work with a thirteen-year-old fangirl talking in your ear.
* MarySue is also often written into fanfiction as a character that not only was not shown in the actual movie (book, graphic novel, etc.) but who was [[HeroOfAnotherStory really super important behind the scenes]].
** You remember that dark, brooding, emotionally closed-off character who always had his guard up and never confided in anyone? Well, little did you know, he had a best friend/relative/therapist/love interest who was the only person he ever felt comfortable talking to and he told her all of his hopes and dreams and secret motivations.
** You know that lone vigilante who saved the day and then disappeared into the night? Well, little did you know that he had a friend/love interest who was secretly by his side through it all and even helped him to execute his plans/ helped him come up with all his best ideas/ was his whole inspiration to be a hero in the first place!
** Writing an OC who has a connection to an existing character isn't necessarily bad but must be handled delicately; too many fanfiction writers make the mistake of making their OC solely responsible for everything that was good about a particular character or putting her behind every significant canon event.
* A MarySue will often have a backstory that [[ContinuitySnarl contradicts itself]], and/or is illogical (e.g., how is it that she's the daughter of [[Literature/LesMiserables Enjolras]] and [[Literature/TheHungerGames Katniss Everdeen]] AND half-vampire? ''AND the CROWN PRINCESS OF SIAM''?) Also, [[PlotHole things often don't match up on the story's timeline]], and if the author tries to deal with the continuity issues, they are either [[HandWave waved off,]] or {{Voodoo Shark}}ed.
entirely different setting.



* May be named after the author in some form. Becoming less frequent as people catch on to the Litmus Tests.
** The more common practice is to give the Sue a name that the author [[AwesomeMcCoolname really, really likes]]. As in, [[AuthorAppeal wishes it were their own name or the name they'd give to their firstborn]].
* May have some [[OverlyLongName overly long]], complicated, usually MeaningfulName that [[StevenUlyssesPerhero relates to her abilities or personality]] - whether this is usual in canon or not.
* Her name is sometimes a gemstone, a flower, [[StellarName celestial bodies, (i.e. Luna, Stella, Celeste)]] or a pretty color (e.g. Violet, Sapphire). With Emo-Sues, her name is [[DarknessVonGothickname something spooky, mystical, or related to darkness (e.g. Raven, Trinity)]]. Of particular note, Serenity [[http://pottersues.livejournal.com/tag/serena%2Fserenity seems to be a cliche]] often finding its way into parodies.
* May have [[MyNaymeIs an unusual spelling of a normal name]], like Krystal or Syndi. Substituting a 'Y' for any other vowel is generally a warning sign. Substituting ''multiple'' Ys for vowels makes it virtually certain or [[PoesLaw almost satirical]].
* May have a masculine-sounding name. Feminized spelling (like Micki or Harrie) is optional.
* Maybe they have a generic Japanese name like Hikari or [[CherryBlossomGirl Sakura]]. Bonus points [[GratuitousJapanese if it's a decidedly non-Japanese setting]].
** [[GratuitousEnglish The reverse can also occur in other cultures]], when people are given "exotic" English words for names. Often results in name which doesn't mean quite what the author intended, due to the large vocabulary and connotations attached to many supposedly synonymous words in the English language.
* Names are often a word or phrase in any language (usually foreign to the author) that have edgy translations in the author's language. And of course the same can apply to any other language that [[AuthorAppeal the author thinks is cool]]. Bonus Point if [[DontExplainTheJoke she points out what it means]], e.g. "I'm Sakura Hinode! That's Japanese for 'cherry blossom sunrise'!"
* It is not uncommon for a Sue to have a combination Japanese/Western-type name, e.g., Hikari Rose Nightshade or Sapphire Morimoto. While such names are not unheard of in real life, they are practically a six-foot-high neon sign flashing I'M A MARY SUE when it comes to fanfic.
* Above all, the name is [[AerithAndBob inconsistent within their particular culture]]. So you get cases of a small isolated village where Bob and Andy are lusting over Serenity Jasmine Sunrise Snapdragon.
* Which raises another point: if standard western names have 3 or 4 parts--a first, middle, and last name--expect her to have ''four or more''. For example, Robert Charlie Smith and Mary Jane Jones will be friends with Raven Fire Trinity Helena Hope Marissa Insanelylongandhardtopronouncelastname. Or in a world where most of the character's middle names aren't revealed, or they simply just don't have them, a Mary Sue's middle name(s) will be plastered to the beginning of her introduction.
* If part native, expect one of a list of native names that [[YouKeepUsingThatWord probably don't mean what the author thinks they do]], aren't really native, or are the names of tribes.
* Her name may be an awkwardly feminized version of the author's favorite male character's name. For example, ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'' fanfic is littered with Sephiras, Sephirothas, Sefiras, etc. There has even been a Sephora.
* Her name may have a meaning that is highly complimentary (e.g. Bella meaning Beautiful).
* Her name sounds like it was made up by a name generator, e.g.: Jade Toraleigh Divinity.

to:

* May be named after A MarySue ''always'' has an unusual and OverlyLongName, often with four or more parts. It's the author first and most obvious sign to the reader that this character is ''special'' in some form. Becoming less frequent as people catch on to the Litmus Tests.
** The more common practice is to give the Sue
way, especially if it [[AerithAndBob stands out among canon names]]. That said, there are many ways for a Sue's name that the author [[AwesomeMcCoolname really, really likes]]. As in, [[AuthorAppeal wishes it were their own name or the name they'd give to their firstborn]].
accomplish this:
* May have some [[OverlyLongName overly long]], complicated, usually A MeaningfulName that [[StevenUlyssesPerhero relates to her abilities or personality]] - whether this is usual personality in canon or not.
* Her name is sometimes a gemstone, a flower, [[StellarName celestial bodies, (i.e. Luna, Stella, Celeste)]] or a pretty color (e.
some way]], usually highly complimentary (''e.g. Violet, Sapphire). With Emo-Sues, her '' Bella, Divinity). The name is [[DarknessVonGothickname something spooky, mystical, or related to darkness (e.g. Raven, Trinity)]]. Of particular note, Serenity is [[http://pottersues.livejournal.com/tag/serena%2Fserenity seems to be enough of a cliche]] often finding its way into parodies.
cliché]] that it's [[PoesLaw more commonly used in parodies]] than anywhere else.
* May have An [[MyNaymeIs an unusual spelling of unusually spelled]] common name, especially if a normal name]], like Krystal or Syndi. Substituting a 'Y' "Y" is substituted for any other a vowel is generally a warning sign. Substituting ''multiple'' Ys for vowels makes it virtually certain or [[PoesLaw almost satirical]].
("Krystal", "Syndi").
* May have a A masculine-sounding name. Feminized or [[GenderBlenderName gender-blending]] name, occasionally with feminized spelling (like Micki or Harrie) is optional.
* Maybe they have a generic Japanese name like Hikari or [[CherryBlossomGirl Sakura]]. Bonus points [[GratuitousJapanese if it's a decidedly non-Japanese setting]].
** [[GratuitousEnglish The reverse can also occur in other cultures]], when people are given "exotic" English words for names. Often results in name which doesn't mean quite what the author intended, due to the large vocabulary and connotations attached to many supposedly synonymous words in the English language.
* Names are often a word or phrase in any language (usually foreign to the author) that have edgy translations in the author's language. And of course the same can apply to any other language that [[AuthorAppeal the author thinks is cool]]. Bonus Point if [[DontExplainTheJoke she points out what it means]], e.
(''e.g. "I'm Sakura Hinode! That's Japanese for 'cherry blossom sunrise'!"\n'' Micki, Harrie).
* It is not uncommon for a Sue to have a combination Japanese/Western-type An awkwardly feminized version of the author's favorite male character's name, e.leading to things like ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'' fanfic being festooned with Sephiras, Sephirothas, Sefiras, and at least one Sephora.
* References to gemstones, flowers, [[StellarName celestial bodies]], or pretty colors (''e.
g., Hikari Rose Nightshade '' Violet, Sapphire).
* With {{Emo}}-Sues, something [[DarknessVonGothickname spooky, mystical,
or Sapphire Morimoto. While such names are not unheard of in real life, they are practically a six-foot-high neon sign flashing I'M A MARY SUE when it comes related to fanfic.
* Above all, the name is [[AerithAndBob inconsistent within their particular culture]]. So you get cases of a small isolated village where Bob and Andy are lusting over Serenity Jasmine Sunrise Snapdragon.
* Which raises another point: if standard western names have 3 or 4 parts--a first, middle, and last name--expect her to have ''four or more''. For example, Robert Charlie Smith and Mary Jane Jones will be friends with Raven Fire Trinity Helena Hope Marissa Insanelylongandhardtopronouncelastname. Or in a world where most of the character's middle names aren't revealed, or they simply just don't have them, a Mary Sue's middle name(s) will be plastered to the beginning of her introduction.
* If part native, expect one of a list of native names that [[YouKeepUsingThatWord probably don't mean what the author thinks they do]], aren't really native, or are the names of tribes.
* Her name may be an awkwardly feminized version of the author's favorite male character's name. For example, ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'' fanfic is littered with Sephiras, Sephirothas, Sefiras, etc. There has even been a Sephora.
* Her name may have a meaning that is highly complimentary (e.
darkness]] (''e.g. Bella meaning Beautiful).'' Raven, Trinity).
* Her A foreign name, particularly a [[GratuitousJapanese Japanese]] name. The author will often [[ForeignCultureFetish really like the language]] and point out [[YouAreTheTranslatedForeignWord what the name sounds like it was made up by a means]] ("I'm Sakura Hinode! That's Japanese for '[[CherryBlossomGirl cherry blossom]] sunrise'!") -- and [[YouKeepUsingThatWord not always correctly]]. If it's combined with an unusual Western name generator, e.(''e.g.: Jade Toraleigh Divinity.'' Hikari Rose Nightshade, Sapphire Morimoto), that's almost a dead giveaway that the character is a Mary Sue.
* And, of course, [[AuthorAvatar sharing at least one name with the author]]. The author may also name her after [[AuthorAppeal what she really wishes she were called]].



* A massive amount of time gets spent on describing her every feature in her introduction. Obviously, most canon characters are already well-defined to the reader whereas the new character needs an adequate description, but if it spends paragraphs, continues cropping up throughout the story, and includes detailed appendices on every little detail, just abandon all hope.
* She gets PurpleProse (usually with heavy {{Fetish}} emphasis) while no other character (canon or otherwise) gets it. Whereas her love interest extends his hand out to her, she slowly but confidently raises her slim, tender, yet dexterous left hand that has a ring on her index finger to hide a small birthmark, shifting her weight to her front stiletto-adorned foot and causing her long, flowing aquamarine hair done with two front tails to ripple and her supple yet firm right breast to shift ever so slightly, rubbing against her slightly loose but supportive black lace bra and causing her heart-shaped face to gain a slight bit of blush underneath her sparkling emerald eyes.
** Relatedly, many things about her are described as "[adjective] yet/but [adjective that often comes into conflict with the other adjective]".
* In visual media, the [[MaleGaze camera just can't]] [[FemaleGaze stop staring at her]]. Every angle is seen several times and her every action gets a heavy emphasis with close-up shots galore. Other characters don't get to be in the frame alone if it can be helped.
* [[{{Crunchtastic}} New words get made up to describe her]]. She isn't just fantastic, she's megariffic!
* Whole passages (almost always concerning things other than her) seem [[BeigeProse minimalistic]], as though the author knows what's going on and only wrote the parts that he/she wanted to fetish-obsess over.
* Pressing concerns of the actual story such as a villain who's actively trying to take over the world, aren't even addressed because everybody is too busy taking an interest in the new girl's life.
* Alternatively, major plot points (that aren't solved by the new girl) are done entirely off-screen. If the [[DracoInLeatherPants handsome yet evil character]] walks in and explains that he has [[HeelFaceTurn seen the error of his ways]], [[CallingTheOldManOut confronted his evil father]], killed TheDragon and [[PlotCoupon found the seventh and final]] MacGuffin all in one sentence and nobody seems to really care because ''[[EverythingsBetterWithPrincesses Princess]]'' [[WesternAnimation/SpongebobSquarepants Doctor Professor]] [[PuritySue Saint]] [[{{Series/Firefly}} Serenity]] [[Disney/{{Aladdin}} Jasmine]] [[Disney/BeautyAndTheBeast Belle]] [[LightIsGood Sunrise]] [[InstantAwesomeJustAddDragons Snapdragon]] [[GratuitousNinja the Ninja]] [[NinjaPirateZombieRobot Pirate Zombie Robot]], [[FunWithAcronyms KBE]], [[RankInflation Esq.]], wasn't directly involved, that's not a good sign (and also [[OffscreenMomentOfAwesome a pretty stupid thing in itself]]).
* When the character is off-screen, if ever, the other characters are still talking about her, taking it as a chance to speak "honestly" about the new girl. If they like her, [[CharacterShilling they sing her praises]]; if not, their dislike will be taken as jealousy, as her "haters" will only talk about petty issues (Sue's background, perceived promiscuity, etc.), and not genuine gripes (massive {{attention whor|e}}ing, for starters).
* The story is often told entirely from the POV of the Mary Sue, sometimes in first person so the focus can never shift away from her.
* She's the [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vanishing_point vanishing point]] - everything revolves around her.

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* A massive amount MarySue is introduced with an incredibly detailed description of time gets spent on describing her every feature in physical feature. It reads as though the author has a very fixed idea of ''exactly'' what her introduction. Obviously, most canon characters are already well-defined to character looks like and considers it vitally important that the reader whereas shares this image of the new character needs an adequate description, but if it spends paragraphs, continues cropping up throughout the story, character. The worst cases will do this repeatedly and includes detailed appendices even have ''appendices'' on every little detail, just abandon all hope.
detail.
* She gets PurpleProse (usually is described in hopelessly PurpleProse, often with heavy {{Fetish}} emphasis) very {{fetish}}ized language, while no other character (canon or otherwise) gets it. Whereas her love interest extends his hand out to her, she slowly but confidently raises her slim, tender, yet dexterous left hand that has a ring on her index finger to hide a small birthmark, shifting her weight to her front stiletto-adorned foot and causing her long, flowing aquamarine hair done with two front tails to ripple and her supple yet firm right breast to shift ever so slightly, rubbing against her slightly loose but supportive black lace bra and causing her heart-shaped face to gain a slight bit of blush underneath her sparkling emerald eyes.
** Relatedly, many things about her are * She will be described as "[adjective] yet/but [adjective that often comes into conflict with the other adjective]".
most positive adjectives the author can think of. Often, she'll cover all her bases and describe her as "[Adjective A], yet [Adjective B, which contrasts with Adjective A]". The author may even resort to [[{{Crunchtastic}} making up words]] to describe her.
* Passages that ''don't'' concern her will be [[BeigeProse written minimalistically]], as though the author is writing them out of obligation and only wants to write the bits she wants to obsess over. This leads to pressing concerns of the actual story not being mentioned in favor of the characters obsessing over MarySue; important plot points may even occur off-screen, no matter [[OffscreenMomentOfAwesome how impactful they may be]].
* The story is often told entirely from Mary Sue's point of view, often in FirstPersonPerspective. This allows the narrative to never stray from her.
* In visual media, the [[MaleGaze camera just can't]] [[FemaleGaze [[MaleGaze can't stop staring at her]]. Every angle part of her is seen several times from every angle, and her every action gets a heavy emphasis is heavily emphasized with close-up shots galore. Other characters don't almost never get to be in the frame alone if it can be helped.
* [[{{Crunchtastic}} New words get made up
to describe her]]. She isn't just fantastic, she's megariffic!
themselves.
* Whole passages (almost always concerning things other than her) seem [[BeigeProse minimalistic]], as though If Mary Sue is ''not'' on screen, the author knows what's going on and only wrote the parts that he/she wanted to fetish-obsess over.
* Pressing concerns of the actual story such as a villain who's actively trying to take over the world, aren't even addressed because everybody is too busy taking an interest in the new girl's life.
* Alternatively, major plot points (that aren't solved by the new girl) are done entirely off-screen. If the [[DracoInLeatherPants handsome yet evil character]] walks in and explains that he has [[HeelFaceTurn seen the error of his ways]], [[CallingTheOldManOut confronted his evil father]], killed TheDragon and [[PlotCoupon found the seventh and final]] MacGuffin all in one sentence and nobody seems to really care because ''[[EverythingsBetterWithPrincesses Princess]]'' [[WesternAnimation/SpongebobSquarepants Doctor Professor]] [[PuritySue Saint]] [[{{Series/Firefly}} Serenity]] [[Disney/{{Aladdin}} Jasmine]] [[Disney/BeautyAndTheBeast Belle]] [[LightIsGood Sunrise]] [[InstantAwesomeJustAddDragons Snapdragon]] [[GratuitousNinja the Ninja]] [[NinjaPirateZombieRobot Pirate Zombie Robot]], [[FunWithAcronyms KBE]], [[RankInflation Esq.]], wasn't directly involved, that's not a good sign (and also [[OffscreenMomentOfAwesome a pretty stupid thing in itself]]).
* When the character is off-screen, if ever, the other
characters are still will be talking about her, taking it as her anyway, giving them a chance to speak "honestly" about the new girl. her. If they like her, [[CharacterShilling they sing her praises]]; if not, their dislike they will be taken as jealousy, as her "haters" will only talk gripe about petty issues (Sue's background, perceived promiscuity, etc.), her and not genuine gripes (massive {{attention whor|e}}ing, for starters).
* The story is often told entirely from the POV of the Mary Sue, sometimes in first person so the focus can never shift away from her.
* She's the [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vanishing_point vanishing point]] - everything revolves around her.
thus be portrayed as evil and jealous.



* The same character - either literally the same character or the same in spirit - tends to appear in all of the works by a particular author or artist because they identify so closely with the character. It's a bit more forgivable in a series that allows for multiple iterations of the same character, but even there it must be handled carefully.
* [[WriterOnBoard The author]] pits his characters against {{Straw Character}}s in order to [[AuthorFilibuster advocate his political opinions via the protagonist]], who is [[ProtagonistCenteredMorality invariably never wrong]].
* The author takes personal offense at any criticism of the character or story, no matter how well-meaning or justified it is. Bonus points for an [[SmallNameBigEgo overblown ego]] behind it.
* The author may get upset when she sees her favorite character paired with anyone but her OC.
* In extreme SmallNameBigEgo cases, the author will create a fan club for her own Mary Sue and/or aggressively ships the Sue with a canon character and makes a fan club for ''that''.
* The author/artist has a massive gallery of art exclusively of the character. There's nothing wrong with drawing your OC, even repeatedly because you like them or you want to give readers an idea of what they look like. Over a hundred illustrations of a single OC, on the other hand, is an bit of an obsession.
** Caveat: This may ''not'' always be a reliable indicator of Sue-ness, if the large size of the gallery is meant to indicate ArtEvolution.

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* The same One of the biggest signs of a MarySue is the author having a particularly strong interest in the character - either at the expense of all others. Some signs that this is happening:
* The character appears in nearly all of the author's works, whether
literally the same character or the same character in spirit - tends to appear in all of the works by spirit. This can be done properly, but it must be handled carefully (''e.g.'' a particular author LegacyCharacter or artist because they identify so closely with the character. It's a bit more forgivable in a series that allows for multiple different iterations of the same character, but even there character); without that, it must be handled carefully.
looks like an obsession.
* The author uses the character to [[WriterOnBoard The author]] pits promote his characters or her own opinions]], often by pitting her against {{Straw Character}}s in order to [[AuthorFilibuster advocate his political opinions via the protagonist]], a StrawCharacter who is will [[ProtagonistCenteredMorality invariably never wrong]].
be right no matter what he does]].
* The author takes personal offense at any criticism of the character or story, no matter how well-meaning or justified it is. Bonus points for displaying an [[SmallNameBigEgo overblown ego]] behind it.
in the process.
* The author may get tries to dictate how others use or interpret the character, or she gets upset when she sees someone pairs up her favorite canon character paired with anyone but her OC.
other than MarySue.
* In extreme SmallNameBigEgo cases, the The author will create creates a fan club for her own Mary Sue and/or the character, or aggressively ships the Sue her with a canon character and makes a fan club for ''that''.
''that'' (which admittedly is an extreme case).
* The author/artist author has a massive gallery of art exclusively of the character. There's nothing wrong with drawing your OC, even repeatedly because you like them or you want to give readers It's not ''always'' an idea of what they look like. Over a hundred illustrations of a single OC, on the other hand, is an bit of an obsession.
** Caveat: This may ''not'' always be a reliable
indicator of Sue-ness, a Mary Sue; some artists experiment with a character design to invoke ArtEvolution, respond to requests to show what she looks like, or just like to draw her. But if the large size of the gallery is meant artist has clearly just built a shrine to indicate ArtEvolution. Mary Sue with over a hundred illustrations, that's a red flag.
17th Mar '17 8:02:51 AM HawkbitAlpha
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With the way the term "Mary Sue" has mutated over time, a great many people just end up labeling any character overdosed with these traits as a Mary Sue regardless of her importance within the story (or because they just don't like the character). [[TropesAreTools That's not necessarily true]]. '''Even if a character has quite a number of the traits described below, Mary-Sueness can still be averted by a good enough explanation for why they're there'''. Some female characters may seem over-powered and a bit "too good to be true" on paper, but when placed in ''context'' they can be well-developed, three-dimensional characters. It's [[Flanderization when a trait exists more to make somebody stand out]] than to develop them as a character that it starts going into Mary Sue territory (unless it's PlayedForLaughs). Alternatively, you may feel as if the writer is frantically trying to justify a trait to themselves and the reader.

to:

With the way the term "Mary Sue" has mutated over time, a great many people just end up labeling any character overdosed with these traits as a Mary Sue regardless of her importance within the story (or because they just don't like the character). [[TropesAreTools That's not necessarily true]]. '''Even if a character has quite a number of the traits described below, Mary-Sueness can still be averted by a good enough explanation for why they're there'''. Some female characters may seem over-powered and a bit "too good to be true" on paper, but when placed in ''context'' they can be well-developed, three-dimensional characters. It's [[Flanderization [[{{Flanderization}} when a trait exists more to make somebody stand out]] than to develop them as a character that it starts going into Mary Sue territory (unless it's PlayedForLaughs). Alternatively, you may feel as if the writer is frantically trying to justify a trait to themselves and the reader.
17th Mar '17 8:02:30 AM HawkbitAlpha
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With the way the term "Mary Sue" has mutated over time, a great many people just end up labeling any character overdosed with these traits as a Mary Sue regardless of her importance within the story (or because they just don't like the character). [[TropesAreTools That's not necessarily true]]. '''Even if a character has quite a number of the traits described below, Mary-Sueness can still be averted by a good enough explanation for why they're there'''. Some female characters may seem over-powered and a bit "too good to be true" on paper, but when placed in ''context'' they can be well-developed, three-dimensional characters. It's when a trait exists more to make somebody stand out than to develop them as a character that it starts going into Mary Sue territory (unless it's PlayedForLaughs). Alternatively, you may feel as if the writer is frantically trying to justify a trait to themselves and the reader.

to:

With the way the term "Mary Sue" has mutated over time, a great many people just end up labeling any character overdosed with these traits as a Mary Sue regardless of her importance within the story (or because they just don't like the character). [[TropesAreTools That's not necessarily true]]. '''Even if a character has quite a number of the traits described below, Mary-Sueness can still be averted by a good enough explanation for why they're there'''. Some female characters may seem over-powered and a bit "too good to be true" on paper, but when placed in ''context'' they can be well-developed, three-dimensional characters. It's [[Flanderization when a trait exists more to make somebody stand out out]] than to develop them as a character that it starts going into Mary Sue territory (unless it's PlayedForLaughs). Alternatively, you may feel as if the writer is frantically trying to justify a trait to themselves and the reader.
16th Feb '17 7:29:52 PM nombretomado
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For a useful and reasonable definition and tutorial on how not to make a Mary Sue, see here:[[http://hatedlove6.deviantart.com/art/Mary-Sues-Part-1-185285110]]

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For a useful and reasonable definition and tutorial on how not to make a Mary Sue, see here:[[http://hatedlove6.[[http://hatedlove6.deviantart.com/art/Mary-Sues-Part-1-185285110]]com/art/Mary-Sues-Part-1-185285110 here]]:
1st Feb '17 3:48:45 PM margdean56
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* SympatheticSue has an unusually DarkAndTroubledPast to the excess, but other subtypes often have them too, just to emphasize how brave and special she is to live through it. This past is never really a point in the story, just dropped casually into the conversation to get attention. Alternatively it's written badly owing to not doing much research. How much she {{Wangst}}s about it is usually out of proportion with how bad it really is.

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* SympatheticSue has an unusually DarkAndTroubledPast to the excess, but other subtypes often have them too, just to emphasize how brave and special she is to live through it. This past is never really a point in the story, just dropped casually into the conversation to get attention. Alternatively it's written badly owing to not doing much research. How much she {{Wangst}}s about it is usually out of proportion with how bad it really is.
1st Feb '17 3:37:37 PM margdean56
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* SoBeautifulItsACurse[[{{Tradesnark}} ]]. While being attractive isn't a qualifier of MarySue (who ''wants'' to be ugly?), it's a bit excessive to try and play it as being some sort of disadvantage. Alternatively, she may only be SuetifulAllAlong. In an AntiSue, this is reversed into a hideous monster. Regardless, her astounding beauty (or astounding lack of it) will make her stand out from the crowd - [[InformedAttractiveness or so we're constantly being told]].
* [[YouGottaHaveBlueHair Unusual hair]] relative to canon is another common characteristic of MarySue. Alternatively, these features may be [[WhatBeautifulEyes amazing]] in other ways - shining and shimmering eyes, or AnimeHair in non-Anime fandoms. RapunzelHair is also common.

to:

* SoBeautifulItsACurse[[{{Tradesnark}} ]]. While being attractive isn't a qualifier of MarySue (who ''wants'' to be ugly?), it's a bit excessive to try and play it as being some sort of disadvantage. Alternatively, she may only be SuetifulAllAlong. In an AntiSue, this is reversed into a hideous monster. Regardless, her astounding beauty (or astounding lack of it) will make her stand out from the crowd - -- [[InformedAttractiveness or so we're constantly being told]].
* [[YouGottaHaveBlueHair Unusual hair]] relative to canon is another common characteristic of MarySue. Alternatively, these features may be [[WhatBeautifulEyes amazing]] in other ways - -- shining and shimmering eyes, or AnimeHair in non-Anime fandoms. RapunzelHair is also common.



** More important than colour is [[SkunkStripe highlights]]. Of course hair dye is nothing special, but somehow Sue's streaks are not only a colour completely different from the base, but also ''natural''. Nature allows ''some'' leeway here - blonds with dark roots aren't unheard of, but that's not what Sues are after. Similarly, these "natural" highlights are often a color such as blue, pink, purple or [[YouGottaHaveBlueHair any other color that doesn't occur naturally in hair outside anime.]]

to:

** More important than colour is [[SkunkStripe highlights]]. Of course hair dye is nothing special, but somehow Sue's streaks are not only a colour completely different from the base, but also ''natural''. Nature allows ''some'' leeway here - -- blonds with dark roots aren't unheard of, of -- but that's not what Sues are after. Similarly, these "natural" highlights are often a color such as blue, pink, purple or [[YouGottaHaveBlueHair any other color that doesn't occur naturally in hair outside anime.]]



* MismatchedEyes or heterochromia, are a common alternate choice.

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* MismatchedEyes MismatchedEyes, or heterochromia, are a common alternate choice.



** MarySue is also never depicted as putting too much effort into maintaining her body; she may get an AdrenalineMakeOver, but she ''never'' has to diet or exercise (she may exercise for other reasons, but ''never'' just to maintain a certain weight or to look a certain way) or use any cosmetic products, she just naturally looks (the author's idea of) perfect and usually doesn't understand why everyone is so impressed by her effortlessly flawless appearance. Most real-life models--male and female--spend ''hours'' a day working out and maintaining their physique because being beautiful is literally their job.

to:

** MarySue is also never depicted as putting too much effort into maintaining her body; she may get an AdrenalineMakeOver, but she ''never'' has to diet or exercise (she may exercise for other reasons, but ''never'' just to maintain a certain weight or to look a certain way) or use any cosmetic products, she products. She just naturally looks (the author's idea of) perfect and usually doesn't understand why everyone is so impressed by her effortlessly flawless appearance. Most real-life models--male and female--spend ''hours'' a day working out and maintaining their physique because being beautiful is literally their job.



** Likewise, if MarySue has a birthmark, it will be in a significant shape (heart, half moon, etc.) and never in a place that compromises her beauty. Expect the Mary Sue to consider the birthmark to make her unattractive. This will be despite the fact that other characters insist that the birthmark makes her more attractive, especially in comparison to physically flawless characters.

to:

** Likewise, if MarySue has a birthmark, it will be in a significant shape (heart, half moon, etc.) and never in a place that compromises her beauty. Expect the Mary Sue to consider think the birthmark to make makes her unattractive. This will be despite the fact that other characters insist that the birthmark makes her more attractive, especially in comparison to physically flawless characters.



* If you're on a roleplay site that takes faceclaims or playbys (celebrities that represent what the character looks like), you can bet their faceclaim will be someone who's [[YoungerThanTheyLook in their late 20's while the character is 16.]] And you'll be lucky to find one that doesn't use a faceclaim who's universally perceived as lovely. (Creator/MeganFox, Music/SelenaGomez, Miranda Kerr, Adriana Lima and other Victoria's Secrets models...) Bonus points if it's an emo-sue with Amy Lee as their face.
* If they are some sort of animal or generally nonhuman species, they may have strange and unnatural fur colours - even outside of the aforementioned purple. Also expect colour combinations that clash horrifically (especially in text where thought will not have been put into how they actually ''look'').

to:

* If you're on a roleplay site that takes faceclaims or playbys (celebrities that represent what the character looks like), you can bet their faceclaim will be someone who's [[YoungerThanTheyLook in their late 20's 20s while the character is 16.]] And you'll be lucky to find one that doesn't use a faceclaim who's universally perceived as lovely. (Creator/MeganFox, Music/SelenaGomez, Miranda Kerr, Adriana Lima and other Victoria's Secrets models...) Bonus points if it's an emo-sue with Amy Lee as their face.
* If they are some sort of animal or generally nonhuman species, they may have strange and unnatural fur colours - -- even outside of the aforementioned purple. Also expect colour combinations that clash horrifically (especially in text where thought will not have been put into how they actually ''look'').



* Their skin color either the same as the author's or what the author views as the prettiest/ideal skin color. Because of this, Mary Sues are usually white (and often a pale shade of white,) but darker-skinned Sues are not unheard of (see the section on ethnicity below.)

to:

* Their skin color is either the same as the author's or what the author views as the prettiest/ideal skin color. Because of this, Mary Sues are usually white (and often a pale shade of white,) but darker-skinned Sues are not unheard of (see the section on ethnicity below.)
1st Feb '17 3:26:34 PM margdean56
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* Inexplicable and/or poorly-defined abilities in general, especially if they [[InformedAbility play no factor in the plot]] after their introduction (not even as a [[RequiredSecondaryPowers Required Secondary Power]]) and are only there to make the character seem even more awesome.
* Regardless of what skill level the canon characters have established, she might just simply be ''better'' than them, often in ways that [[PlotInducedStupidity do not make sense]]. Not to mention that if she isn't already skilled at something, [[InstantExpert she'll pick it up in a fraction of the time required]] - [[NewPowersAsThePlotDemands if she even needs to learn them at all]]. She/he may have powers similar to what the other characters have, only with [[StoryBreakerPower all of the downsides and limitations removed]].

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* Inexplicable and/or poorly-defined abilities in general, especially if they [[InformedAbility play no factor role in the plot]] after their introduction (not even as a [[RequiredSecondaryPowers Required Secondary Power]]) and are only there to make the character seem even more awesome.
* Regardless of what skill level the canon characters have established, she might just simply be ''better'' than them, often in ways that [[PlotInducedStupidity do not make sense]]. Not to mention that if she isn't already skilled at something, [[InstantExpert she'll pick it up in a fraction of the time required]] - -- [[NewPowersAsThePlotDemands if she even needs to learn them it at all]]. She/he may have powers similar to what the other characters have, only with [[StoryBreakerPower all of the downsides and limitations removed]].



* Absurd natural athletic ability - she can run like the wind without ever having worked on her running, and has impossibly high acrobatic skills.
* And with all this - don't expect the GreenEyedMonster to show up. Envy appears in the Mary Sue's life only as a means of angst, and so does not appear just because the Mary Sue has everything.

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* Absurd natural athletic ability - -- she can run like the wind without ever having worked on her running, and has impossibly high acrobatic skills.
* And with all this - -- don't expect the GreenEyedMonster to show up. Envy appears in the Mary Sue's life only as a means of angst, and so does not appear just because the Mary Sue has everything.



* {{Mary Sue}}s always has excellent fashion sense, even if she's meant to be a rough-and-tumble {{Tomboy}} type who doesn't care about that sort of thing, she will always look [[UnkemptBeauty effortlessly beautiful]] and other characters, often males, will frequently talk about how they like that she isn't as high maintenance as other girls (if she has a female rival they might mention her specifically.)

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* {{Mary Sue}}s Sue}} always has excellent fashion sense, even sense. Even if she's meant to be a rough-and-tumble {{Tomboy}} type who doesn't care about that sort of thing, she will always look [[UnkemptBeauty effortlessly beautiful]] and other characters, often males, will frequently talk about how they like that she isn't as high maintenance as other girls (if she has a female rival they might mention her specifically.)specifically).
1st Feb '17 3:21:18 PM margdean56
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* ''What'' personality? In these cases, it's fairly blatant the author is just writing the character for amazing stuff to happen ''to'' instead of a character that actually exists as a person. Obviously, this is only a MarySue trait if what happens gives the character [[TouchedByVorlons special powers]], fantastic romances, or somehow lets her be a [[BigDamnHeroes big damned heroine]]; otherwise it's just another faceless first-person perspective.
** The personality of a MarySue - if she has one - is not nearly as important as how other characters react to it. No matter how shy or socially awkward MarySue is ''supposed'' to be, other characters will be drawn to her and inexplicably prefer her company over that of anyone else, all of her ideas are brilliant, all of her jokes are funny, all of her advice is an amazing breakthrough, people will trust her immediately, or very quickly, and feel more comfortable talking to her than to anyone else (even their own family or their significant other) even if she hasn't done or said anything to make them feel that way about her.

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* ''What'' personality? In these cases, it's fairly blatant that the author is just writing the character for amazing stuff to happen ''to'' instead of a character that actually exists as a person. Obviously, this is only a MarySue trait if what happens gives the character [[TouchedByVorlons special powers]], fantastic romances, or somehow lets her be a [[BigDamnHeroes big damned heroine]]; otherwise it's just another faceless first-person perspective.
** The personality of a MarySue - -- if she has one - -- is not nearly as important as how other characters react to it. No matter how shy or socially awkward MarySue is ''supposed'' to be, other characters will be drawn to her and inexplicably prefer her company over that of anyone else, all else. All of her ideas are brilliant, all of her jokes are funny, all of her advice is an amazing breakthrough, people breakthrough. People will trust her immediately, or very quickly, and feel more comfortable talking to her than to anyone else (even their own family or their significant other) other), even if she hasn't done or said anything to make them feel that way about her.



** MarySue doesn't have to actually ''do'' anything to be considered a good person, she just ''is'' good and by extension anything she does is good and even when she does nothing she brings more good into the world simply by existing than any other character ever could. Goodness just seems to seep out of her body like radiation.
* [[EasyEvangelism Highly persuasive]], regardless of the actual content of their conversations. Everyone finds her opinions are just better than their own - [[CharacterDerailment even when they're usually stubborn bastards]]. This is especially likely in an AuthorTract.

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** MarySue doesn't have to actually ''do'' anything to be considered a good person, she person--she just ''is'' good and by extension good. By extension, anything she does is good good, and even when she does nothing she brings more good into the world simply by existing than any other character ever could. Goodness just seems to seep out of her body like radiation.
* [[EasyEvangelism Highly persuasive]], regardless of the actual content of their the conversations. Everyone finds her opinions are just better than their own - -- [[CharacterDerailment even when they're usually stubborn bastards]]. This is especially likely in an AuthorTract.



** She [[AllLovingHero loves everyone and forgives them all for their imperfections]], [[MartyrWithoutACause plus she is willing to save, protect or risk all]] [[TheDulcineaEffect for the sake of someone she has met just seconds ago]].
* Is either [[GenkiGirl brave and cheerful]] ([[ThePollyanna despite her past]]-- [[RealityIsUnrealistic not unheard of in real life]], but with Sues it tends to come across as AngstWhatAngst), or [[{{Wangst}} unnecessarily mopey and depressed]].

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** She [[AllLovingHero loves everyone and forgives them all for their imperfections]], imperfections]]. [[MartyrWithoutACause plus Plus she is willing to save, protect or risk all]] [[TheDulcineaEffect for the sake of someone she has met just seconds ago]].
* Is either [[GenkiGirl brave and cheerful]] ([[ThePollyanna despite her past]]-- past]] -- [[RealityIsUnrealistic not unheard of in real life]], but with Sues it tends to come across as AngstWhatAngst), AngstWhatAngst) -- or [[{{Wangst}} unnecessarily mopey and depressed]].
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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Main.CommonMarySueTraits